PKBN: Moulding the youth

National 3 minutes, 24 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THIS year, the National Service Programme or Program Khidmat Bakti Negara (PKBN) has seen many improvements foremost of which is the planned construction of a new building in Temburong.

The new $32.52 million building which is currently under construction at Kampung Batu Apoi, Temburong will enable PKBN to achieve its objectives of having the best and safe infrastructure for the training of recruits, as well as management, logistics and coordination of the trainees.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports previously stated that with the completion of the new permanent camp, PKBN will be able to run three times a year.

PKBN Director Colonel (Rtd) Pg Zulkifli Pg Hj Ismail told The Brunei Times during the foundation-laying ceremony last June 24, that the new building will have a parade square, stage, and grandstand.

It will also be consisted of blocks for administration, clinic, prayer hall, study room, residence as well as a dining hall equipped with CCTV surveillance system and “High Security Fencing”.

The construction of the PKBN camp in Temburong will also contribute to the progress of the district’s economy, social community and security, he said.

Local and regional communities have also demonstrated interests and awareness on the programme. This was shown when PKBN received official visits from local and foreign officials and dignitaries this year.

Last March 20, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam visited the PKBN trainees.

The monarch inspected the guard of honour, observed the trainees do the march, sing patriotic songs, cheer and demonstrate pencak silat (traditional Malay martial arts) skills.

On September 1, it received a visit from the Director General of Malaysia’s National Service Training (JKLN) who wanted to learn more about the programme.

Meanwhile on November 13, PKBN welcomed another guest when it was visited by the Oman’s head of Radio and Television and was briefed on their performances and demonstration.

Academic improvements

PKBN is designed to equip trainees with physical and mental goodwill required for the development of the national and the creation of a tenacious society.

Trainees undergo 84 days of training that entail four components: self identity and nationhood, physical training and discipline, entrepreneurship and social services.

The programme provides trainees with invaluable experience while instiling patriotism and produces youth that have strong morals, discipline and responsibility along with along with a strong spirit of volunteerism.

PKBN graduate trainees are also given opportunities to further their studies. On June 20, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah said the ministry will provide tuition classes and pay for the those interested to better their chances of finding employment.

To further support this, the Ministry of Education’s Community Education Section are also offering free courses including ‘O’ level subjects, technical and vocational classes.

PKBN also introduced new modules such as the Syariah Law briefings that became a mandatory part of the programme to increase their understanding of the newly-enforced law, said PKBN Director Colonel (Rtd) Pg Zulkifli Pg Hj Ismail.

He added that it is important for youths to know about Syariah law as it affects their everyday life.

Other modules introduced are occupational health and safety briefings, workplace culture and social media.

During the opening ceremony of the fourth official intake, PKBN introduced briefings on “The Introduction of Islamic Medicine and Welfare”(_Pengenalan Perubatan Islam dan Kebajikan) _from Darusyifa’ Warrafahah.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar said that by following these briefings, it is hoped that the youths will explore Islamic medicine which is the heritage of Rasulullah SAW and his companions.

Increase in number of trainees

Since the launch of PKBN in 2011, the programme has seen a total of 821 graduates. The latest intake that was sworn in on December 17 was 315 trainees – the biggest intake so far for the programme.

With the completion of the new building, the number of recruits will be increased up to 700 youths per intake.

The Brunei Times