Legislative Council (LegCo) members unanimously approved the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) proposed budget allocation of BND583,726,080 for the fiscal year 2022-2023 yesterday, following deliberations on the third day of the 18th LegCo session.
Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman, in his remarks, said the fiscal year 2021-2022 has been a challenging period for the education sector due to the second wave of COVID-19, which forced the ministry to learn and adopt in overcoming the challenges to ensure the continuation of quality education and the safety of teachers and students in the new normal.
One of the efforts the ministry implemented to ensure the continuation of education during the closure of school was the introduction of home-based learning, which the minister acknowledged, had its own challenges especially families without access to resources such as the Internet and laptops.
To overcome these challenges, the minister highlighted several initiatives introduced in the previous fiscal year, including a BND20 monthly allowance for teachers to purchase data and providing a monthly data of 10GB to students from less fortunate families.
In his remarks on the proposed budget allocation, the minister said the large allocation of budget clearly shows that education is the government’s priority in producing high-quality human resources. “With the initiatives put in place, education investment continues to yield increasingly positive results.
“For Primary School Assessment (PSR) in 2021, 65.81 per cent or 2,229 candidates obtained Grades A to C in five academic subjects, a 3.43-per-cent increase when compared to results in 2020.
“As for the GCE ‘O’ Level results, 51.37 per cent or 2,199 candidates obtained at least five ‘O’ levels in 2021, an increase of 8.51 per cent from the previous year,” said the minister.
He also shared that the GCE ‘A’ Level examination results have shown a 7.85-per-cent increase – 90.43 per cent or 1,153 candidates had obtained at least three ‘A’ Levels compared to 82.55 per cent the previous year.
The total percentage of ‘A’ Level students obtaining Grades A-C in three subjects has shown an increase of 6.26 per cent – 47.61 per cent compared to 41.34 per cent the
Meanwhile, the percentage of ‘A’ level students with tariff points exceeding 240 points has also increased to 61.28 per cent compared to 52.93 per cent the previous year. The minister shared that the projects that will be implemented in the financial year 2022/2023 include the upgrading of skills and the capacity for professional development programmes for teachers, school leader and the workforce of the departments under the ministry. The MoE, through the Brunei Darussalam Leadership and Teacher Academy (BDLTA), will be responsible for programmes for teachers and school leaders. For instructors, the Instructor Unit under BDLTA has designed a professional development programme based on two domains – professional knowledge and skills, and professional involvement – and six educational standards. The courses serve to form and build competencies or competency-based training modules for signature series based on 17 teaching competencies contained in the document Brunei Teachers Standards-Teachers Performance Appraisal 2.0 (BTS-TPA 2.0).
The School Leadership Unit under BDLTA has also implemented four-tier signature programmes at the leadership level.
In addition to improving competencies among teachers and school leaders, the ministry also formed a new unit called the School Leaders and Teaching Staff Welfare Unit (UKPSTP) under the supervision of the Office of the Director General of Education.
Meanwhile, the main projects that will be implemented in the financial year 2022/2023 under Strategic Objective II – to provide equal and equitable access to quality education – include the continuing and improving the quality of asset preservation services in educational institutions, in primary, secondary schools, colleges and sixth form centres including institutions of higher learning with building upgrades and implementation of comprehensive maintenance through the Facilities Management Project. UBD and IBTE will also implement the Facilities Management Project in their institutions for the financial year 2022/2023, which will also be extended to other institutions of higher learning in the coming years, as one of the fiscal consolidation programmes implemented under the MoE.
The minister also shared programmes to be implemented for the ministry’s digital transformation plan, which include the computer procurement project through the IT Central Procurement 3 (ITCP3) master contract from the National E-Government Centre to replace all devices including desktop computers and laptops in primary and secondary schools under the MoE; and the ministry’s network infrastructure upgrade (MNIU) project aimed to provide, manage, maintain and monitor network infrastructure for departments under the MoE so that the ministry’s operations will be more effective in performing administrative tasks through the use of technology.
“The continued involvement of parents, guardians and the community, is as much needed as we can experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us together support the MoE’s mission, ‘To Provide Holistic Education To Achieve Its Full Potential For All’ to achieve the ministry’s vision, ‘Quality Education, Dynamic Nation’,” said the minister.