Belait parents briefed on education intervention

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds

BELAIT

YAYASAN Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) yesterday held a briefing for parents of 20 students participating in its Education Intervention Programme (PIP), which this year extends its reach to Belait through a Tuition Class Project.

The project targets academically low-performing students from low-income and underprivileged families, with the hopes of bolstering examination results.

In her welcome speech, YSHHB Assistant Managing Director Hjh Donnaliza Abdullah Puasa said that the PIP programme caters to students who have been identified as needing close guidance academically, to ensure that they are able to complete their education at higher levels.

The success of PIP continued to be evident in 2014, with 86 per cent of students from two PIP centres in Tutong passing PSR ( Primary School Assessment), compared to 60.71 per cent in the previous year.

“This clearly shows that the number of PIP students (achieving PSR passes) is increasing and the need for PIP services is still relevant,” she said.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Hjh Donnaliza said that in Belait, the temporary solution would be for PIP participants to attend classes at private tuition centres, unlike in Brunei-Muara and Tutong, where specialised YSHHB centres have been set up. This was partially due to the small number of PIP participants in Belait, as well as the availability of teachers.

“We have not yet been able to identify enough people…. We want teachers with qualifications who are experienced and who are able to spend time on Sunday to give tuition to low-performing students,” she said, adding that there were plans for a formal centre in Belait should the conditions of capacity be met.

“Existing teachers are already occupied. With the Ministry of Education (MoE), they already give extra classes on Friday through their own programme which has the same concept. To add on extra Sunday duties is asking a bit too much of them so we are really looking for other individuals,” she said.

Hjh Donnaliza assured that the MoE and YSHHB would be closely monitoring student performance at the private tuition centres, with the centres submitting progress reports to PIP each term.

“Parents are very eager… should a PIP participant fails to attend classes without justifiable reasons three times consecutively, they will be dropped. And other parents will be waiting, asking if we could please take their kids,” she said.

“It is an opportunity to place their child in a centre to receive support services, not just teaching academically but also to motivate them. The very act of children sitting in this environment is itself a motivation. It tells them that they are special kids given an opportunity,” she added.

Launched in 2006, PIP initially targeted PSR students at schools in Kampong Ayer, before including O-Level students in 2009. Two years later, it widened its scope to land-based schools, utilising a tuition centre at the YSHHB Secondary School. In 2013, PIP opened a centre in Tutong. By 2014, it had two centres each in Tutong and Brunei-Muara.

This year, PIP will also be implemented in Belait and Temburong, completing its nationwide network. To date, almost 1,500 students have been enrolled into the programme.

The Brunei Times