Call to enlarge scope of education to promote entrepreneurship

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE month of June saw the National Youth Congress 2019 taking place, resulting in various recommendations being put forward in a resolution.

The National Youth Congress 2019, held on June 17-18, was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with strategic partners, and carried the theme, ‘Together Forging Our Future’.

The congress was aimed at bringing together youth repre-senting government agencies, youth associations and groups and educational institutions, as well as graduates, students, entrepreneurs and individuals in a conducive environment to discuss various issues and concerns affecting the youth in the country.

In a speech at the event’s opening ceremony, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin described the congress as a “historic moment for youth and is the highest platform for youth to voice their views and priorities”.

The minister highlighted that Brunei’s youth have taken great steps and played a very important role in providing meaningful added value for the good of society and the nation, and he affirmed that the country will always appreciate and welcome their contributions.

“It has become the pride of the community that many of our youth have bravely come forward and succeeded in becoming pioneers in their chosen fields, including volunteering, the civil service, creative fields and entrepreneurship, so as to expand the scope of achievements nationally and internationally,” he said. “What is important now is ensuring that the impact that has been achieved so far will be further enhanced and continued for a long time.”

The minister also called for the country’s youth to “move united” and advance the nation towards realising Brunei Vision 2035.

The two-day congress, which included forum and workshop sessions centred on the topics of ‘Future-Ready Youth’, ‘Youth Participation’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’, concluded following extensive discussions on various youth development issues, and saw participants issue a joint resolution recognising the need to further empower Bruneian youth to ensure their optimal contribution to the nation’s development.

President of the Brunei Youth Council Muhammad Aidil Firdaus bin Haji Jukin presented the resolution during the closing ceremony of the congress on June 18.

As was reported following the closing ceremony, among the recommendations made by the National Youth Congress 2019 in the resolution under the topic ‘Youth Participation’ were: giving recognition and rewards for active youth participation in the community, establishing a ‘Youth Fund’ to support projects in youth development, and introducing a policy to improve opportunities for and empower youth from the government and private sectors.

Other proposals put forward included identifying talents in arts, sports and other areas to be channelled into the appropriate platforms, ensuring youth involvement in policymaking and strategic planning, and appointing youth in important government-service positions.

Additional key points in the resolution included the need to empower our youth and the provision of appropriate infrastructures in skills and education; instilling positive attitudes in society to handle social and current issues; and the need for further cohesion between different stakeholders in carrying out a whole-of-nation approach in aspects of youth development to ensure the country can achieve Brunei Vision 2035.

Meanwhile, under the topic of ‘Future Ready Youth’, several initiatives were recommended in a number of areas, including increasing youth contribution to national development, education and skills enhancement, life skills and social etiquette, physical and mental health, and preserving the rights of women.

Additionally, for the topic of ‘Entrepreneurship’, some of the key recommendations included the need to increase the scope of education streams to promote practical exposure to entrepreneurship, business, finance, soft-skills and innovation; increasing the capabilities of existing entrepreneurs through capacity-building programmes and networking; strengthening the business ecosystem and making it more youth-friendly; and formulating a conducive policy and framework to provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs to become “more ready” to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution via the formation of a special committee.

The resolution was handed over to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports during the closing ceremony, which also saw a dialogue session held between congress participants and attending Cabinet Ministers and deputy ministers regarding various topics in youth empowerment.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud; Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman; Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof; Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan; Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar; Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Fiscal) Dato Seri Paduka Awang Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman; and Deputy Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw were present.

Legislative Council members Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim, Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad, Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali bin Pengiran Maon, and Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu; as well as senior government officials from various government ministries and departments were also present.