SEDex sowing seeds for future entrepreneurs

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds

BELAIT

THE third Student Entrepreneurship Development Expo (SEDex) has shown an overall improvement in product quality and is already showing long-term promise in terms of further entrepreneurial and student development in schools.

SEDex 2014 Executive Committee Coordinator for Belait Hjh Siti Ajija Abdullah said this while speaking to The Brunei Times at the Belait edition of the expo yesterday at the Tudung Saji compound in Kuala Belait.

At the event, 22 primary, secondary and vocational schools, including four private ones, showcased the best of their student entrepreneurs’ products and services.

“In terms of participation, in the capital there are a lot of schools compared to here (Belait), where there are only about 12 government (primary) schools… every year there are improvements and I understand it is the same in the other districts. On the products, they have creativity and each school has upgraded their products,” she said.

Although there has not yet been a formal study on the impact of SEDex, the coordinator said that the growing experience of SEDex participants has contributed to an improvement in Brunei Common Assessment Tasks (BCATS) in secondary schools.

“This was the feedback from Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar Secondary School (SMPJN) in Mumong regarding students who were involved in SEDex during their primary schooling. I saw a lot of recycling efforts that they were doing as part of their lesson and which they were selling (which came from SEDex),” said Hjh Siti Ajija.

“This year, the UBD entrepreneurial section is helping the SEDex students. Some schools were promoted through signing of MoUs with established companies through UBD. Yesterday, I saw (in Brunei-Muara), a school involved with designing menus for a restaurant. I was surprised,” she added, adding that more of such deals were being worked on in the future.

She noted that schools in Belait had shown a similar improvement of quality in their homegrown products as in other districts, despite only a slight difference in variety as compared to the offerings from Monday’s launch simultaneously in Tutong, Temburong and Brunei-Muara.

Of Belait’s five rural schools, only three managed to participate. Merangking Primary School’s SEDex head teacher, Fazlin Hj Mohd Taufik, said that one of the challenges faced by rural primary schools was low student population.

“Unlike other schools, we have fewer students, so our school’s participation in SEDex required the full participation of everyone at the school (not just the Year Six students), including teachers, school staff, parents and even pre-school students,” said Fazlin, whose school’s flagship product, kapok (traditional cotton-like substitute) pillows, remains its most popular.

The guest of honour, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yussof, toured the individual school displays after the launch.

The Brunei Times