Lest We Forget


Compiled by Lina Gapar

Newspapers are part of balanced reading ‘diet’

Suriani Garip

JULY 4, 2001 – “As we are aware, Newspapers in Education (NIE) is not a novel or recent approach to teaching. NIE programmes, where newspapers are brought into schools (usually at a discounted rate) were first introduced in the United States (US) during the 1930s and today are found in 35 countries.

“Surely if there were no merits in such programmes, there would not be such widespread use for something that appears to be chronologically aged.”

These remarks were made by Datin Paduka Hajah Norsiah binti Haji Mohd Daud during the launching of ‘NIE A Resource Collection for ‘N’ Level English Language’ at the opening ceremony of the ‘NIE Workshop for ‘O’Level’ yesterday. Both programmes were officiated by Datin Paduka Hajah Norsiah, Director General of Education at the Curriculum Development of the Ministry of Education. It is supported by Brunei Press Sdn Bhd that also sponsored the first print run of the ‘N’ Level Resource Collection.

“Brunei is a young nation, with a high proportion of young citizens. Although its literacy rate is high for this region, Bruneians, particularly those of school going age are still lacking in good reading habits.”

Director General of Education Datin Paduka Hajah Norsiah binti Haji Mohd Daud launches the NIE workshop and resources collection

She lamented, “Rather than picking up a good book or even the daily newspaper to read, some of our young people prefer to look at magazines which depict sensational, supernatural tales in lurid detail or visit cybercafes to chat or play games.”

“I am not against any of these forms of relaxation but I feel that parents and teachers should encourage their children or students to engage in more meaningful and beneficial activities.

“In this sense, I feel that the newspaper and other authentic materials do have a place in the curriculum. Often, teachers can add more zest and interest to their classroom teaching by giving a more varied and balanced reading ‘diet’ of both authentic and non-authentic materials,” she said.

She said that using newspapers as a teaching tool can give students glimpses of the complex but exciting world outside the confines of the classroom or school and prepare them, not just for examinations but for the political and socio cultural situations of life that they may encounter after school. She noted that the daily newspaper captured the realities and states of life as no other resources can.

“Why not capitalise on it as an educational resource to help our children improve their skills in writing, analysis of events and ideas, vocabulary, as well as build an awareness of local, national and global events?” she quipped.

She urged the teachers to go beyond providing students with useful information from the newspaper, inspire them to think critically and creatively with well-chosen, thought provoking materials, and to encourage them to participate in the ever changing world around them.

Students’ essays give a peek into the future of ICT in rural areas

James Kon

JULY 1, 2011 – How would the future look like in the rural community with ICT? Will ICT help rural communities or is it an unnecessary burden?”

Khong Yu Neng, a Sixth-Form student of Sayyidina Othman Secondary School in Tutong District and Mohammad Rosyiq Daniel bin Haji Roslani, a Year Five student of Tungku Primary School, were the two top students who impressed the judges with their answers in an essay writing competition organised by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) in conjunction with World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.

They received their prizes from AITI Chief Executive Haji Yahkup bin Menudi during a ceremony at the Seri Kerna Hall of AITI Office in Kampong Anggerek yesterday.

The competition, which ran from April 18 to May 30, was divided into two categories for primary and secondary level students.

In the primary category, students between the ages nine and 11 were required to submit a drawing and a composition of not less than 100 words on the topic – ‘How would the future look like in the rural community with ICT?’

AITI Chief Executive Haji Yahkup bin Menudin with the winners of the essay writing competition, teachers and judges. PHOTO: JAMES KON

In the secondary category, students between the ages of 12 and 18 needed to write an essay of not less than 500 words on the topic -’ Will ICT help rural communities or is it an unnecessary burden?’

Over 80 essay and drawing entries were submitted by various public and private schools from throughout the country. It is encouraging to note that a handful of the entries were received via e-mail, as some of the entries were from rural areas.

“I am very honoured and surprised to have received the prize,” said Khong who won himself a white iPad 2 with his essay on ‘Will ICT help rural communities or is it an unnecessary burden?’

Khong, who has bagged numerous prizes from past essay writing competitions, nearly did not make it for yesterday’s prize presentation ceremony as he was caught in traffic as he made his way from Tutong District.

He said, “With ICT, people from rural areas can advertise heir products online. While through smartphones, they can also obtain warning or information on any impeding disaster.

“Fishermen and farmers would also gain the information of the real value of their produces and catches to be sold to the market.

“Through ICT, communities in the rural areas could also receive better education in e-Learning and also benefitting from information on health.”

The winner of the primary category, Mohammad Rosyiq Daniel, told the Bulletin that it took him two days to complete the drawing and essay on ‘How would the future look like in the rural community
with ICT?’

The 10-year-old boy, who won himself an Apple iPod Touch, expressed his thanks to his teacher, Mohammad Zul Ariffin bin Haji Ibrahim, and his parents, especially his mother, for their guidance.

Mohammad Rosyiq Daniel pointed out that he uses the social networking site, Facebook, to correspond with his teacher to complete schoolwork.

The runner-ups under the primary category were Arif Akmal bin Jaya of Kampong Katok A’ Primary School (second place) and Nur Akmalaqilah binti Mahathir of Saba Darat Primary School (third place).

Arif Akmal won himself an Apple iPod Nane, while Nur Akmalaqilah received a Sony digital camera worth BND250.

The runner-ups under the secondary category wer students of Maktab Duli PMAMB Gadong, Adelin Liew Wei Ying (second place) and Leong Chi Wei (third place).

Adeline received a Panasonic Lumix digital camera worth BND600, while Leong Chi Wei got an Apple iPod Touch worth BND350.

The six judges of the competition were selected from various agencies including the Ministry of Education Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) and the Language and Literature Bureau.