Studies in place to refine PKBN programmes

Rokiah Mahmud

The National Service Programme (PKBN) saw 519 youth registering to be part of the programme last year. The figure is the highest so far since the programme was implemented. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, only 250 youth were selected for the programme, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin said.

“This shows that the PKBN programmes attract youth with their parents’ support,” he said.

The minister was responding to a question by Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Haji Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Haji Sabtu. The LegCo member also asked for the statistics of youth participating in the programme and if the ministry is planning to increase the number of trainees for PKBN’s intake.

The minister said observations and assessments have been carried out focussed on enhancing PKBN programmes.

He said it was planned to increase the number of programme participants to 700.

“However, a number like this needs skilful trainers. Most participants also have other commitments as many are still schooling or have completed the ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels examinations.”

The ministry is also planning to provide more opportunities for youth to be a part of the self-empowerment and leadership programme through PKBN by offering short-term courses and the setting-up of a youth academy.

The ministry is also planning to offer continuous training for PKBN’s alumni aside from the refresher course. PKBN will be the hub for the community to carry out training in collaboration with Outward Bound Brunei Darussalam, he said.