Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Lifelong learning essential for national development

James Kon

The development of human resources through lifelong learning is an essential function in supporting a country’s social and economic development.

This is reflected in the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) Strategic Plan for 2018 – 2022, Strategic Objective Two, where the ministry is committed to providing equal and equitable access to quality education by improving opportunities for lifelong learning.

This was underscored by Acting Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the MoE Dr Chin Wei Keh as the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Annual Lifelong Learning Industry Engagement Day (ALLIED) 2022 yesterday.

Themed ‘Strengthening Lifelong Learning and Industry Cooperation: Now and Beyond’, the event at the Damai Ballroom, Aman Hills Hotel, was attended by over 100 participants from government agencies and private companies.

“The pandemic has compelled us to act not only differently but also more efficiently and effectively.

“It has drawn attention to the need for governments, industry leaders, and communities to develop and implement strategies for acquiring knowledge, skills, and competencies, as well as learning policies that assist youth and adults in coping with the changes brought about by the crisis,” Dr Chin Wei Keh said.

He added, “We must also look into strategies for reskilling and upskilling to meet the changing needs of societies and the world of work brought about mainly by digital and green economies.” The role of lifelong learning in the sustainable development of Brunei Darussalam “was highlighted in the Economic Blueprint for Brunei Darussalam: Towards a Dynamic and Sustainable Economy which is Goal 3 of Brunei Vision 2035”, he said.

Acting Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Chin Wei Keh in a group photo with the speaker and panelists as well as officials at the launch. PHOTOS: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show attendees at the ceremony

“We aspire to produce skilled, adaptive, and innovative people through the promotion of continuous learning, training, and reskilling to ensure our workforce remains relevant and adaptable to changing industry needs.”

To achieve this goal, the acting permanent secretary noted that Lifelong Learning Centre (L3C) serves as a one-stop information hub and a gateway for lifelong learning programmes offered by L3C and partners from both public and private sectors.

“L3C also actively supports and collaborates with government agencies such as the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) Secretariat, JobCentre Brunei (JCB), and industries in facilitating access to Adult Learning and Education (ALE); provides and supports training providers in terms of venue and facilities; and becomes a focal point for strengthening linkages amongst stakeholders, both nationally and internationally, in promoting lifelong learning.”

After the inaugural ALLIED in September last year, he said, “L3C as the facilitator of lifelong learning initiatives, has seen an increase in collaborations in providing lifelong learning programmes, particularly upskilling and reskilling programmes.

“Between Q4 2021 and Q3 2022, eight new training providers joined L3C to offer more than 50 upskilling and reskilling programmes, bringing in more than 500 participants, comprising job seekers and employees in the private sector.”

Organised by the MoE through the L3C, ALLIED aims to bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors involved in accelerating and strengthening the human resource development and manpower in the Sultanate.

The event also heard a keynote presentation titled ‘A University-Industry Lifelong Learning Partnership Model’ by keynote speaker, Director of Centre for Adult Continuing Education (ACE) and Chair of ASEM LLL Hub Professor Séamus Ó Tuama.

The event continued with presentations on ‘Manpower Demand & Potential Trainings’ and a panel discussion on ‘In-Demand Skills & Training Programmes for Industries: Now & Beyond’ moderated by L3C Acting Director Sumardi bin Haji Abdul Hamid.

The event concluded with closing remarks by Special Duties Officer Grade II Muhammad Burhanuddin bin Haji Nazamsah as the Chief Rapporteur for 2nd ALLIED 2022.

Among the main objectives of ALLIED are to strengthen the lifelong learning cooperation among the stakeholders in promoting lifelong learning opportunities and developing programmes; conduct a dialogue among stakeholders on demands of training programmes now and beyond; and discuss issues and challenges related to manpower planning and participation of adults in education and training.