| Nururul Aqidah |
A FOUR-YEAR long School Twinning Programme between Sayyidina Ali Secondary School and Temasek Junior College (TJC) of Singapore started this year with its first batch, consisting of 12 students and three teachers. The School Twinning Programme allows a local school in Brunei to partner with an overseas school to teach them more about our culture and experience life here as a student. This would also mean that next year, students from SMSA will be visiting TJC.
The students and teachers from TJC first arrived in Brunei on July 23 and stayed through till July 27. Their stay was only for five days and four nights. On their very first day here in Brunei, they were welcomed warmly by Joanne and Shim who picked them up from the airport. Afterwards, they were fed local traditional food at a restaurant in Bandar Seri Begawan and was given a tour of Kampong Ayer.
The arrival of Temasek Junior College to SMSA happened on July 24, the second day of their visit. As soon as they arrived, they were welcomed by their assigned student buddies and were also shown a performance by the Silat Team. They then joined the rest of the Pre-U students at the assembly point where there was a special assembly being conducted just for their arrival to the school. The students were given their own schedules according to the subjects they took and spent the whole day going to different classes and experiencing the student life in SMSA. On the same day, the student buddies along with the teachers that chaperoned, visited Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam and spent time with the special need. That night, an Amazing Race was prepared specially for the TJC students where they had to complete several challenging tasks around KB town.
On July 25, our TJC guests were brought to the Sungai Liang Tropical Biodiversity Centre where they attended a short lecture and went into the jungle for some jungle trekking. That night, the student bodies of SMSA held a Cultural Night that was mainly done to expose the guests to more of Brunei’s culture and traditions. Lots of displays were put up about the history of Brunei and there were also traditional games set up and traditional music being played. Not only that, traditional Bruneian food and desserts were served to the guests and everyone involved that night. It was truly unforgettable. Even more so when the student bodies performed a skit of Brunei’s very well known folklore. The TJC students had also prepared their own performance for everyone that night and even brought up students to the stage to dance along with them. The night ended with SMSA’s school cheers and the feeling of excitement emitting from everyone in the hall.
During TJCs last day in SMSA, a sharing session was held where activities were being recapped, thoughts were being shared and gifts were also being exchanged. The short few days we had spent with the Singaporean guests were filled with many fun moments and will forever be kept as a precious memory to many that were involved.
As farewell gift to the Singaporeans, the night before they had to leave, the student bodies arranged a sushi dinner with them at Kaizen. This Student Twinning Programme has exposed not only the Singaporeans to Brunei’s way of learning but also vice versa and thus, has improved the students’ self confidence, self esteem and also independent thinking skills and decision making. This exposure, not only enhances our own learning experience but also those around us. Life long bonds have been formed between the Singaporeans and Bruneians because of this programme.