Corporate Communications Division, Ministry of Education
A self-initiated education with a focus on personal growth is what lifelong learning generally entails as people enrol in these courses based on their innate interests, curiosities, and motivations that are voluntary and driven by personal interest or personal growth.
The Lifelong Learning Centre (L3C), Ministry of Education (MoE) was established on September 23, 2019 during the 29th Teacher’s Day celebration to accelerate and strengthen the country’s human resources development through lifelong learning.
The aspiration of the L3C is to become a centre of excellence for expanding lifelong learning opportunities and strengthening communities by 2024. Their programmes and courses are carefully designed to ensure they meet the standardised guidelines to be a registered training organisation (RTO).
The L3C offers a diverse set of programmes which are categorised into four types or pillars – workforce development programmes (WDP); academic upgrading programmes (AUP); community development programmes (CDP); and personal development programmes (PDP).
As of July 2022, the centre has conducted more than 200 programmes with almost 3,000 participants since its establishment.
As His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam highlighted during the 9th Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) Convocation Ceremony, education is undoubtedly a lifelong investment and it knows no limits.
In a statement on ‘National Policies on Lifelong Learning: Achievement, Challenges and Recommendation’ at a workshop on National Policies on Lifelong Learning toward Sustainability in Southeast Asia as part of the Seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII), Minister of Education Datin Seri Setia Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh emphasised her conviction in the power of effective regional cooperation and governance to guarantee that no lifelong learner is left behind and the area can grow in a way that is both sustainable and equitable.
TOWARDS A PRODUCTIVE SOCIETY
The L3C’s mission is to build inclusive communities and holistic individuals by enhancing opportunities for lifelong learners of all ages. The programmes run by the centre aim to spread knowledge and information about a wide range of skills and talents, including both contemporary and complex skills such as those related to information technology and also skills that relate to security and sustainable livelihoods such as basic accounting and finance.
In 2020, the Secretariat of Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) introduced an initiative called SkillsPlus which provides funding assistance to local jobseekers and local employees in the private sector including freelancers to enrol in upskilling and reskilling programmes at the L3C. The programmes are constantly revamped and revised to stay up-to-date with specific industry needs and to guarantee they are in accord with the real-world needs of an ever-changing market.
Individuals can also gain useful skills and knowledge that will benefit them both personally and professionally. This is because individuals can employ existing talents to learn something new. Learning to cook, for instance, necessitates problem-solving. Continuous upskilling and reskilling are essential for individual fulfilment and building self-confidence in a rapidly changing world, as well as for professional advancements to maintain a flexible and competitive edge on the job market.
Lifelong learning can assist people in keeping up with the most recent technologies and acquiring the necessary knowledge or skills as the job market becomes more competitive.
FUTURE OF LIFELONG LEARNING
The L3C will develop, implement, oversee and evaluate lifelong learning policies, frameworks, and guidelines. The centre will also help the MoE regulates the administration of programmes for lifelong learning. To facilitate access to education, training and employment opportunities for lifelong learners, including jobseekers for future employment and career advancement, the L3C also supports the MPEC and JobCentre Brunei (JCB).
Building a successful, educated and technologically advanced society necessitates lifelong learning. With the existence of the L3C with their reskilling and upskilling courses, an individual’s capacity to keep up with 21st-Century skills can be strengthened and enhanced, which is beneficial not only for the individual’s career but also personal growth.