| Hakim Hayat, Fizah HAB & Syazwani Hj Rosli |
SENIOR officials from the Ministry of Education (MoE) made a working visit to a number of education institutions in the country to check on proceedings and their progress, as the schools welcomed thousands of students back after the month-long holiday.
During a visit to the Sports School in Berakas, Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman and his delegation viewed the registration process and ice-breaking session for the school’s Year 7 to Year 11 students.
The minister also took the opportunity to impart words of encouragement to the newly enrolled Year 7 students.
The Sports School currently has 260 students who are equally divided into separate sports and academic streams. Students in the sports stream are selected from various schools in different catchment areas based on their sporting abilities, while the academic stream comprises students from the Sports School’s catchment area and who obtained outstanding results from the Primary School Assessment.
The two different streams were introduced in January last year as part of the MoE’s efforts to improve the performance and direction of the school.
The minister and his delegation also took a closer look at an ice-breaking session for Year 1 to Year 6 students at Pulaie Primary School, Cluster 3 in Kampong Pulaie, Berakas.
At Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam (SMJA) Secondary School, Cluster 2 in Bandar Seri Begawan, the minister visited classrooms and facilities, such as the school’s canteen, and interacted with the students and shared with them words of encouragement, advising them on the importance of good time management and study-life balance.
Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh made similar working visits, stopping by three different schools in Mukim Gadong: Kampong Mata-Mata Primary School, Cluster 1; Rimba II Secondary School, Cluster 4; and Rimba I Secondary School, Cluster 4.
For some students, going back to school after such a long vacation might elicit feelings of minor nostalgia, that yearning to return to the first weeks of the holidays and relive the happiness and freedom once again.
For many parents, however, the start of school is very much welcome, signifying a fresh new beginning and a whole new path ahead in 2019 for their children to get down and busy while gunning for their academic targets.
Other young scholars though seem to be embracing the return-to-school rush in great earnest.
Warm, wide smiling faces were seen all around in many schools, the students getting into the swing of things, enthusiastically registering for classes, meeting new friends, learning the ways around their school again, and sporting new haircuts and uniforms.
One such school was Orang Kaya Setia Bakti (OKSB) Primary School, Kilanas. School Headmistress Siti Norbayu binti Haji Abdul Samad shared that several activities were conducted on the students’ first day back.
“Religious activities including the singing of the national anthem as well as the recitation of Surah Yaasiin and Doa Selamat were held before the students were divided into their new classes,” she said.
At Pengiran Anak Puteri Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah Religious School, Serusop, parents were seen yesterday afternoon registering their children into their classes, paying their school fees, and buying textbooks for the new academic year.
Traffic jams were also seen in several roads yesterday morning, as parents made their way to schools to drop off their children. The congestions thankfully however, weren’t too bad, with cars moving along reasonably smoothly after minor periods of traffic crawl.
Mariani binti Haji Mohd Sofian, a mother sending her children off to school yesterday, said that it was a little longer drive than usual, but “at least the traffic was still moving”.
“It was surprising because I was thinking that I would be caught in a heavy jam today, considering this is the first day of school and for some, the first day of work after returning from their end-of-year vacations. But the traffic was quite smooth today and I hope it continues like this tomorrow and the day after,” she said.