Izah Azahari & Azlan Othman
The Ministry of Education (MoE) through its Special Education Unit (SEU) held a certificate presentation for students who completed their studies in the Pre-Vocational Programme for 2016-2020 at the Hall Room of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital.
Eighty-six students from various government secondary schools were feted during the event.
Present as the guest of honour was Deputy Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the MoE Aliuddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman.
The programme is a special course for special needs students that focussed on basic skills such as social, communication and independent living as well as vocational and work skills guided by the Individualised Educational Plan (IEP) that follows students’ own level and abilities.
The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat followed by a welcoming speech by event Chairman and Acting Head of the SEU Eddy Fazlin bin Haji Amdan who highlighted that, to date, a total of 11 agencies have participated in the work placement programme for pre-vocational students and have shown understanding, patience, and teamwork in guiding students to understand the tasks and ensure the implementation of daily work routines are perfect while improving their work skills.
He added that the SEU is in the process of designing and reviewing the special education curriculum so that it will be more dynamic and holistic to include the 21st Century skills that every student needs in the face of increasingly challenging world.
The agency has also introduced the Designated Priority Level (PL) as an indicator in ensuring that students follow a programme in school in accordance with their abilities.
“This initiative will also be used for the implementation of the Centre of Excellence (COE) which is the provision of special spaces for groups of students with special needs with special equipment and rooms, as well as teaching and learning resources that are more accessible, interactive and user-friendly,” said Eddy Fazlin.
The event also saw a speech by the guest of honour who outlined a number of the MoE’s initiatives that are in the works such as the collaboration between the MoE’s Education Technology Centre (EdTech Centre) and the Infocommunication Technology (ICT) Department that are planning and implementing several initiatives to further expand the use of technology in learning such as the establishment of a smart classroom and multimedia studio in a number of schools, provision of educational TV programmes and progresif schools, as well as the recent School Leaders Convention 2021 which conducted a blended learning framework workshop aimed at designing a guideline for the implementation of blended learning in schools, colleges and sixth form centres in the country.
Meanwhile, the deputy permanent secretary also explained that the MoE’s five-year Strategic Plan 2018-2022 also emphasises on the importance of each student being given access to quality education.
“In ensuring that this is achieved, the ministry through the Special Education Unit is in the process of building a comprehensive Special Education Curriculum,” said Aliuddin. “The construction of the curriculum also takes into account assessment, learning and teaching resources, pedagogy including the emphasis on the use of technology or digital learning, especially in the use of assistive technology.”
The event continued with the certificate presentation by the guest of honour to the students and seven Special Education Needs Assistance (SENA) teachers who have retired, as well as certificates of appreciation and souvenirs to the 11 agencies involved in the students’ work placement programme.
An exhibition and sale of handicraft products, food, drinks and students’ crop yield were also held at Block C of the Lower Level of Yayasan Complex, open to the public.
The event also invited JobCentre Brunei to aid graduating Pre-Vocational Programme students register as jobseekers.
Also present at the event were senior officers from the MoE, representatives from non-government agencies, associations, principals, teachers, as well as parents and guardians of students.