Lyna Mohamad, Rokiah Mahmud, Izah Azahari, James Kon & Azlan Othman
Almost all former directors at the Department of Technical Education (DTE) attended the reunion of the department’s retirees at Tarindak D’ Polo Restaurant in Jerudong recently.
Dubbed ‘Santai-Santai Mengopi’, the retirees comprised those who started as students and employed as technical education instructors and administrators.
The event saw participants sharing their life experiences before and after retirement.
Former director Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Daud bin Haji Mahmud, shared that the upgrading of Sultan Saiful Rijal Trade School and Brunei Technical Training Centre and Jefri Bolkiah Engineering School (PLTB) in the 80’s into two technical colleges – Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College (MTSSR) and Jefri Bolkiah of Engineering (MKJB) and the formation of the DTE in 1993 were the most important milestones in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Brunei Darussalam.
He said over the years, along with other structural changes including the establishment of vocational schools, upgrading of Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) to Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) and the merger of Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah College of Nursing with Institute of Health Sciences of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) improved the ecosystem of TVET by offering progressions to higher education.
Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Daud, whose last post was Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education, said the establishment of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of Technical Instructors through the In-Service Training Scheme (LDP) improved the academic qualifications of local instructors and their competencies, skills and morale.
Dr Haji Azaharaini bin Haji Mohd Jamil who held the director post for a few months before transferring to the MKJB said his background on technical education covered over 20 years with his first stint being at Berakas Secondary School.
After a few years he was then transferred to MKJB and to SEAMEO VOCTECH as the director to set up programmes for the centre in 1990 and then pursued his studies in Australia and took up the assistant director post at DTE on his return.
On technical graduates being unemployed, he pointed that one reason is quite a number passing out. Dr Haji Azaharaini said during his time, jobs were waiting for the graduates while now it was the other way around.
“I guess our students or the new generations should set up their own company. Today you can use your home as an office and sell your things online,” he said.
The event began with the welcoming remarks by the coordinator followed with Tahlil and Doa Kesyukuran for fellow colleagues who have departed.
Santai-Santai Mengopi concluded with a Doa Selamat followed by a group photo.
Meanwhile, 55 former personnel of Delta Company 1BN of the Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF) organised a reunion at Parkview Hotel, Jerudong on Tuesday. Former Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Commander Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohd Tawih bin Abdullah was the guest of honour. Major General (Rtd) Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud who was also former Commander of the RBAF was also present.
The reunion saw a Tahlil for departed personnel.
The 81st recruits’ intake of the RBAF also held a reunion at the Higher Cafe, Higher Hotel in Kampong Kiulap on December 18.
It was a ttended by 49 members comprising former commanding officer of the Recruits Company, coaches, and officers still in service and retires. Among the recruits was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah bin Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz. The gathering was held to express their appreciation to the officers and trainers trained them during their time with the RBAF.
Another reunion was held by 38 members of the Bolton 1993 to 1997 Alumni at the Damuan Room, Aneka Rasa Restaurant, on December 13.
A welcoming speech was delivered by Chairman Pengiran Alit bin Pengiran Haji Damit. The reunion sought to strengthen the bonds between former alumni. The event also saw a Tahlil and Doa for alumni who have passed.
Meanwhile, 50 former students of Religious Teachers Training College of Seri Begawan (now known as Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan or KUPU SB) of 1987 to 1990 intake held a reunion at Tarindak D’Seni Restaurant recently.
A Tahlil recitation was led by Haji Shahrin bin Haji Abdul Razak for fellow colleagues who have departed. The reunion aimed to forge closer ties among former students.