‘Practical classes can spark learning’

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PRACTICAL demonstrations and hands-on science classes can help ignite students’ interest in learning, said Brunei Shell Petroleum’s Oil and Gas Discovery Centre’s (OGDC) Outreach Manager.

Chang Yew En told The Brunei Times that such demonstrations and classes will make learning and teaching more fun for the students and teachers respectively.

“It would be nice to have these activities in classes because the students will enjoy it more, which will trigger their interest in learning,” he said on the sidelines of the inaugural M3V Competition yesterday.

The M3V competition – held to encourage creativity among students – was organised in conjunction with Insitut Teknologi Brunei’s (ITB) Innovation Month.

Participants had to construct a vehicle out of recycled materials before pitting it against other entries.

Chang said he hopes to help students be prepared for their education and future careers (within the science industry).

With this in mind, he urged more schools to consider inviting OGDC to implement practical learning activities.

“As an oil-based country, we do need engineers and scientists. This is why we hope to get them interested in science and education through practical activities because they will be learning while having fun,” he said.

Hjh Pusparaini Hj Thani, the Co-Head Secretariat of the Crown Prince Innovative Products and Technological Advancement (CIPTA) Award agreed that hands-on learning will benefit the students in learning.

“Practical learning is a new technique for students to learn better because they will be able to unleash their creativity,” she said.

Though practical learning is the best way for students to learn and educators to teach, she highlighted that theoretical learning must never be forgotten.

“From the creative activities today, I can see students enjoying themselves while learning. This is good but the students should not forget the theoretical aspect of learning,” she said.

Sabri Amirul Hafiz Hj Yunos, a physics teacher in Sekolah Menengah Arab Laki-Laki Hassanal Bolkiah, said he hopes to implement practical learning for his students during his classes.

“They are more interested to learn when they are undergoing practical classes, which is why I hope to apply this learning technique in my class,” he said.

He, however, anticipated difficulties in implementing such classes due to time constraints within the school timetable.

“Time is the problem. If I were to apply this in my classes, practical learning would (only be an occassional thing),” he said.

The Brunei Times