Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Experience of a lifetime

Lyna Mohammad

National Service Programme (PKBN) trainees who recently completed the three-month programme shared their experience and talked about their plans for the future with the Bulletin recently.

For 17-year-old Nur Husnina Mahirah binti Isham, her interest in joining PKBN was piqued by the way her sister talked about her own experience during the training.

“The more I learnt about this programme, the more I want to enrol as a trainee,” shared Nur Husnina. “The programme presents an opportunity for me to push myself beyond my comfort zone. My parents also supported my decision to enrol and encourage me to press on during my time at the PKBN.”

She shared that the programme taught her leadership and survival skills as well as how to overcome obstacles, which are applicable in her potential workplace. She said she may impart the knowledge she learnt through the programme to those who are new to PKBN.

“For those interested in participating in this programme, it is helpful to withstand physical and mental endurance as well as have more confidence and self-esteem. At the same time it also teaches us to be more independent, disciplined and responsible such as cultivating the spirit of cooperation, perfecting the five-time-a-day prayer and learn punctuality.”

Nur Husnina will be continuing her studies at Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) if she is successful with her application and will pursue her studies in Islamic education.

National Service Programme (PKBN) trainees during the passing out parade ceremony. PHOTO: INFOFOTO
ABOVE & BELOW: Nur Husnina Mahirah binti Isham and Awangku Muhamad Nur Arif bin Pengiran Azmi with their families. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

ABOVE & BELOW: Nurulain Izzati @ Umi binti Haji Khairul Hazimin; Nazirul; and Muhammad Nur Iffat Fadlullah bin Fandi. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

PKBN trainees marching. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

Fellow trainee Awangku Muhamad Nur Arif bin Pengiran Azmi, also 17, is from Kampong Kasat in Brunei-Muara District and was a student of Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab Secondary School prior to joining the PKBN.

He joined the programme because he has a great interest in the military and said if there is an opportunity for him to join the force, he will take the chance and further improve whatever he learnt from the three-month training at PKBN.

For now, he is planning to further his studies at Politeknik Brunei and will be enrolling into the military once he completes his studies.

“I am grateful that I have a family who is supportive, especially my parents who always motivate me and keep pushing me to the limits, as well as my circle of friends who have also given me inspirational words to do whatever I want to do without regrets. These are my motivation.”

Training at PKBN gives trainees not only a lot of knowledge and skills but most importantly it teaches them how to be disciplined, which would then mould their character to be more responsible citizens, he said, noting that this is really useful for daily life.

“We were trained to be early risers, perform our religious obligations and we do things faster than usual as the programme trained us to be physically and mentally prepared as well as becoming more active and energetic in carrying out tasks.”

Nurulain Izzati @ Umi binti Haji Khairul Hazimin is an 18-year-old resident of Kampong Sengkurong and is currently waiting for her application to enrol into Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) under the food processing programme, while at the same time applying to join the military.

“My passion or my dream career is more towards military and this is one of the factors of me choosing the PKBN as my first training ground and preparing myself for more challenging training in the future,” she said. “Alhamdulillah, it was such a tough experience but I made it through.”

She has gone through a lot in life despite her young age and there are many life-changing activities that made her realise how huge and adventurous the world is.

Having to learn to be patient is one area that she feels most of them had benefitted from their journey at PKBN, as well as how teamwork plays an important role in this programme.

“Every choice we took and all activities require both physical and mental abilities,” she said, adding that everything that they had been practicing has taught them to be ambitious and prepare for the challenges in society that they will encounter upon their completion of their training.

She gives credit to her family for her being able to go through the months of training because every time she was tasked with something, it is her family that flashed in her mind and pushed her to withstand the training. On top of that, she believes prayers from her parents helped.

Meanwhile, fellow trainee Nazirul when asked why he joined the PKBN said, “Being someone who is less verbal and is more into actions, I joined the PKBN because I heard a lot of positive feedback from former trainees, such as how it help them becoming more responsible and disciplined in life.”

This is exactly what he wanted, as his mind has always been set to improve himself, be disciplined in studies or future career. For Nazirul, joining the PKBN was the right path for him to not only expose himself to these favourable qualities but also gain skills and knowledge that would benefit his future.

Last and certainly not the least is the Overall Best Male Trainee Muhammad Nur Iffat Fadlullah bin Fandi, who is 17 years old. Iffat, as he likes to address himself, was a student at Sayyidina Ali Secondary School in Kuala Belait prior to joining the PKBN.

When he applied for the programme, his mind was set to challenge his ability and be out of his comfort zone and when he left home to go to the training camp, he pledged to push himself to do the best he could.

“After three months, the most obvious changes I feel are that I am now able to manage time and work in a team well,” he said. “The training was just like the military training that I see or hear from friends and I also realised that my discipline was getting better by the day.”

He shared that when he was announced as the Overall Best Male Trainee, the feeling of pride was overwhelming, especially having his parents at the grandstand witnessing their son getting this honour.

Iffat, who plans to further his studies first before joining the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), said his achievement is also attributed to his loving parents as they prayed for him and gave their blessings during his training at the camp.

“I also got the trust and support from the instructors and fellow trainees, which also motivated me to do well.”

It was definitely one of the most significant achievements in his life and will be one of those memories that will stay long in his mind and he hopes to be a motivation for others, be it friends or relatives, who will be joining the programme.

“To those who are still thinking whether to join or not, don’t stop yourself from gaining a lifetime experience and gaining skills that you don’t get to learn anywhere. It is really fun because you will gain new experiences in the camp along with new friends,” he added. “To new trainees joining intake 12, do your very best and make the most of the knowledge gained from the instructors and staff.”

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