Wednesday, June 26, 2024
26 C
Brunei Town

Inspiring change, education in post-pandemic recovery

The BIBD SME360 Series continued with a virtual forum which saw a discussion of the current shape and state of the non-profit, changemakers and education industries in the post-COVID-19 era.

The two-day event began on May 17 with a session titled ‘Social Impact in the Post Pandemic Era: Reflections, Needs and Responses’.

Day One’s first session featured Impian Project founder Lailatul Zubaidah, Young Professionals Network co-founder Fatin Ariffin and Head of Community, National Events and Home Quarantine Individuals, Community Development Department (JAPEM), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Youth Volunteers COVID-19 Ashmeer Imtiaz.

The panellists agreed that the less-privileged families and individuals were among the worst-hit.

Inflation along with rising prices underscore the importance of food security which drove changemakers and non-profit organisations to support local products. They also provided feedback to the Brunei Government which resulted in policies being created to ensure the survivability of local businesses.

The following session ‘Building a Stronger Community through Social Innovation and Collaborations’ saw the participation of Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) youth leader Natasha Halim; Community for Brunei co-founder Shinny Chia and Country Director of AYAN Brunei Afiqah Zailani.

They said during the pandemic, social media helped changemakers highlight sensitive yet crucial issues and raise awareness about the plight of some underprivileged individuals impacted by COVID-19.

ABOVE AND BELOW: Screenshots show panellists during the discussions. PHOTOS: BIBD

They agreed that it is important for changemakers to ensure inclusivity in initiatives aimed at extending assistance to the community.

The final session of day 1 was ‘We Are All Responsible: A Total Approach to Saving the Planet’. Co-founder of Green Brunei Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari, Environmental Activist and co-founder of Accelerating Climate Action Malaysia Dr Renard Siew, Head of Energy Transition, Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd, Country Head of Girls for Girls Brunei and co-founder of React Co, Brunei Shirley Sikun and EnEvo Sdn Bhd founder Siti Norasyidah binti Haji Kariya participated. They discussed the need to find localised solutions in addressing climate issues. They also agreed that combatting climate issues should become a priority for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit entities or institutions in Brunei.

The first topic on day 2 was ‘Post Pandemic Era: Reflections and Opportunities in the Education Industry’. It featured Cosmopolitan College of Commerce and Technology CEO Daniel Kumar, International School Brunei principal Tony Macfadyen, Chung Hua Middle School, Kuala Belait principal Dr Chong Kui Kian and head of Information Technology Division, Politeknik Brunei Bahit Hamid.

They said COVID-19 disrupted education with educators having to reimagine and redesign teaching methods or programmes to ensure efficient learning systems were created.

The speakers also expressed optimism in the future of hybrid or blended learning which would benefit students and educators due to its flexibility.

The second session titled ‘Adaptation and Priorities in the Early Education’ saw the participation of Yippy Tune Music School Principal Deon Ong; Kumon Diligent Brunei founder Caley Yong and FasTrackids (B) International principal Caroline Ang.

The speakers underscored the importance of maintaining enthusiasm during online classes to keep students motivated and focussed.

The final session focussed on ‘Roles and Purposes of the Education Industry in the time of change’ participated by Director and Associate Professor, Centre for Advanced Research, Universiti Brunei Darussalam Dr CY Hoon; Perspective Insan Academy CEO and lead trainer Iswandy bin Ahmad; and Top Tutor Bn co-founder Abdul Malik Omar.

Speakers highlighted that moving forward in the post-pandemic era, teaching methods should be realistic and adaptive to overwhelming scenarios to ensure a better and efficient delivery of education.

Topics were in line with BIBD’s effort to help SMEs recover sustainably following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Sultanate. It is also part of BIBD’s commitment to educate and bring awareness on areas where businesses can learn how to carry out more environmentally conscious business practices – within the three pillars of the BIBD Sustainability Framework, in this particular, Responsible Entrepreneurship.

With the nation entering the endemic phase soon and physical stores opening again, it is hoped that the SME360 Series acts as a platform for businesses and organisations to garner ideas that will help them rebound and recover from the impact of Covid-19.

The programme is organised by BIBD with DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) as strategic partner, co-curated by Firelight Sdn Bhd and Curious Mind. It is jointly supported by Malay, Chinese, Indian and National Chamber of Commerce, LiveWIRE, BIMP-EAGA, Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei, Royal Brunei Culinary, McDonalds Brunei, Serikandi Group of Companies GoMamam, Ghanim International Corporation Sdn Bhd, Jab Gym, Hua Ho and Soon Lee.

BIBD Group’s strategic vision is aligned with 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’s Brunei Vision 2035 and recently, through its sustainability framework, the bank aspires to complement the government’s efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by creating a holistic plan that contributes towards lasting economic growth, community empowerment, healthier lifestyles and more environmentally conscious production and consumption.