Call to centralise voctech schools

National 2 minutes, 1 second


A LEGISLATIVE Council (LegCo) member yesterday urged the Ministry of Education (MoE) to centralise vocational and technical institutions as part of the transformation of the education system.

Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hjh Zasia Sirin called for a review of the Sultan Bolkiah Vocational School in Seria, Belait, claiming that over 10 courses on offer were in unrelated fields.

She pointed out that some courses should be incorporated under suitable institutions with qualified and skilled teaching staff.

“All these courses on offer are very important and have the potential to be further developed by teachers with the necessary skills and professional expertise.”

Among the examples of centralised institutions highlighted by YB Datin Hjh Zasia was the Wasan Vocational School, where the courses are focused in the fields of crop production, agriculture and food science.

She also commended the Mechanical Training Centre, which offers courses such as automotive engineering, vehicle body engineering and heavy construction.

The LegCo member also suggested a specialised vocational centre for creative courses that cover fields including arts and crafts, citing examples such as the Malaysian Institute of Art, United Kingdom School of Art and Design as well as Auckland University’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries.

“With the setting up of a specialised centre, it will encourage and benefit the students in terms of learning and self-discovery.”

YB Datin Hjh Zasia, who is one of the only two female representatives in LegCo, added that such fields have the potential to become an entrepreneurial pursuit for youth who possess the necessary skills and creativity.

Meanwhile, YB Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman expressed her support for MoE’s proposed a special educational, hands-on programme geared for students who failed O Levels and were not admitted into Sixth Form.

“I very much support this plan proposed by the education minister for students who are less academically inclined. It will provide the same job opportunities as academic courses,” she said.

She also agreed with MoE’s suggestion for the establishment of a special hostel for students from underprivileged families. The LegCo member explained that hardships as well as a challenging home and family environment would hinder the academic progress of such students.

By placing underprivileged students in a special hostel, she believed they will receive “tremendous opportunities” to improve on their academic achievements.

“Only through education would the government be able to overcome poverty in this country.”

The Brunei Times