Singapore students experience Brunei life

|     Norsuzilawati Haji Ahmad     |

PENGIRAN Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School (SMPAPHM) received a delegation from St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, Singapore (SACSS) under the School Twinning Programme, organised by Ministry of Education of Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.

The delegation comprised three teachers and 12 students. The visit was held from August 27 – 31.

The programme aimed to enhance educational links and strengthen bilateral education collaboration between Brunei and Singapore.

The delegation was welcomed during a ceremony at the SMPAPHM multipurpose hall. The ceremony began with the singing of national anthems followed by a speech by school Principal Hajah Norwen binti Haji Brahim.

Science experiment presentations were presented by two representative teams of SMPAPHM and a team from the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC).

St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School students during the programme
Students get a first-hand experience of the surrounding nature at Eco Ponies Garden in Lamunin, Tutong. – PHOTOS: NORSUZILAWATI HAJI AHMAD

A traditional dance titled Tarian Baju Putih by the SMPAPHM students and a hip hop dance by the students of SACSS also left the audience in awe. To mark the historical occasion, a cocos nucifera sapling was planted at the compound of the school by the lead visiting team. That afternoon, both schools competed in a friendly netball match.

During programme, SACSS students built relationships with their Bruneian peers while sharing ideas and experiences on educational matters. Six appointed buddies from SMPAPHM Year 8 classes assisted visitors throughout their stay at the school. They immersed into Year 8 classes and engaged in core subjects – Malay Language, Mathematics, English, Science, Business, Art and Technology (BAT) and Social Studies as well as the option subjects of Drama and Art and Design. They also attended lessons in Islamic Religious Knowledge and Malay Islamic Monarchy. It is hoped that this has widen the students’ educational horizon which is relevant to their current and future needs.

The accompanying teachers, led by Rasheda Begam D/O Kaim Khan, shared a session on a topic ‘Why Social Studies is Compulsory in Singapore and Assessment Types for Secondary School Social Studies’ with the administrative team of SMPAPHM. The visitors also had the opportunity to experience the school academic programme, the ‘Learning Walk’, where they had the privilege to visit classrooms and observe lessons that were being carried out. They were also briefed on the school’s ‘Dialogic Teaching’ by the Mathematics and English departments.

The programme sought to enhance skills in teaching and learning core subjects, learn effective assessment methodologies and witness classroom management that contributes to success and excellence among students.

Apart from the immersion programme, the host school also gave the visitors opportunity to taste the local delicacies such as ambuyat. They also experienced making penyaram and kikik (kite). The guests visited the distinguished Royal Regalia Museum, Technology Museum and Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum, and the prestigious mosques of Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Bandar Seri Begawan.

The Singaporean team also had an evening stroll at the Golden Jubilee Park and Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah as well as a tour at Gadong Night Market and Jerudong Park. The host school also arranged visits to the Eco Ponies Garden in Lamunin, Tutong and Wasan Paddy Field in the afternoon where they experienced harvesting the ripe paddy. The school’s Students Council and Students Peer Guidance (PRS) also had the chance to be liaison scholars during these visits.

The programme adjourned on August 31.