Brunei, Canada education ties getting stronger: Envoy

Rokiah Mahmud

Brunei and Canada continue to build close relations in the education sector, through the University of Toronto (UofT) National Biology Competition while a growing number of Bruneians are also opting to study in Canada, said High Commissioner of Canada to Brunei Darussalam Jeanette Stovel.

The high commissioner was speaking at the awards presentation ceremony for the UofT National Biology Competition 2019 at the Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (MSPSBS) yesterday.

The awards were presented to 30 students from six local schools, for their high scores during the competition. A rolling plaque sponsored by the Canadian High Commission was also presented to MSPSBS, as the school with the highest number of participants in the competition – 146 entries from a total of 256 students across Brunei Darussalam.

Stovel congratulated the students, while also expressing hope that their accomplishments would lead to further success.

“Given the ubiquity of technology and its rate of change, strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM, for short – is necessary to equip young people with the skills to prepare for any future career path,” she said.

ABOVE & BELOW: Acting Principal of MSPSBS Hajah Susilawati binti Dato Paduka Haji Muhammad during her welcoming remarks; and High Commissioner of Canada to Brunei Darussalam Jeanette Stovel presents a certificate to a recipient. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI

“STEM is much more than these four skills of study – that it represents a diverse set of 21st Century skills, a characteristic that we need as global citizens, including critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving and practical skills.

“Having advanced STEM skills allows one to engage in discovery and innovation, in ground-breaking research or in the creation of new technologies.”

Acting Principal of MSPSBS Hajah Susilawati binti Dato Paduka Haji Muhammad said that the competition provides ample opportunities for young talented students to enhance their knowledge and skills in science, particularly Biology.

“It provides an excellent platform for students to boost their confidence in doing science, and to compete against students from other sixth form schools and colleges,” she said. Last year, over 4,000 students from several countries took part in the competition, including 256 from MSPSBS, Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (MDPMAMB), Hassanal Bolkiah Boys Arabic Secondary School (SMALHB), Meragang Sixth Form Centre (PTEM), Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre (PTES) and Sayyidina Ali Secondary School (SMSA).