| Azlan Othman |
THE nation still faces technical and management issues in the area of public works such as inadequate water supply, damaged roads, as well as floods and landslides caused by natural disasters and climate change, said Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar.
Speaking at the handover of completion certificates for the second intake of the Future Learning Programme for graduates in Civil Engineering at the Public Works Department (JKR) yesterday, the minister added that the issues should be tackled immediately to ensure the welfare of the people in the country.
“The Future Learning Programme could enhance the professionalism and credibility of graduates in terms of executing their tasks to ensure the continuous provision of basic infrastructures such as water supply, roads, sewerage and drainage,” he said.
“It is my hope that through this programme the graduates are ready to answer any challenges innovatively and logically, and be able to make wise and accurate decisions. From a career standpoint, I believe this programme could equip the graduates to become professional engineers, allowing them to hold higher posts.
“This is in line with the succession planning of the Ministry of Development (MoD) to establish a continuation of potential officers to replace middle or higher management staff. These officers need to be of high calibre, experienced, qualified and skilful to fill such posts.”
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary (Infrastructure, Housing and Professional) at the MoD Haji Amer Hishamuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria highlighted that the Future Learning Programme is a core programme of the MoD to guide technical officers into becoming professional engineers capable of developing the nation.
The programme is recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), United Kingdom (UK), as a postgraduate diploma in professional engineering, and the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council (BDNAC) as a Brunei Darussalam Qualifications Framework level 7 Masters Degree.
One of the programme graduates, Haji Mohd Farid Faisal bin Haji Osman, an engineer at the ministry’s Department of Town and Country Planning, said upon completion of the course, he and his fellow course mates feel more mature and trusted in the workforce.
“The course is beneficial to address the nation’s demands,” he said. “There is no easy route to success but I am thankful to the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the course lecturers, as well as my family and parents for their support and assistance while I was undergoing the programme.”
A total of 24 MoD officers were chosen to follow the course under its second intake. So far, 19 have passed all modules and received their certificates after completing a 30-month Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Engineering course, which was carried out on a part-time basis.
Besides MoD officers, the course was also followed by engineers from the Department of Councils of State and the Ministry of Defence.
Brunei Darussalam is the first nation to be given approval and recognition by the ICE UK to hold the programme outside the UK, with the MoD being given ‘approved training organisation’ status to conduct the Work-Based Future Learning Programme for Civil Engineering.