Vocational school revamps courses

National 1 minute, 57 seconds

BELAIT

THE Institute of Brunei Technical Education's Sultan Bolkiah Vocational School campus (IBTE SVSB) will overhaul all its Brunei Darussalam Technical and Vocational Education Council courses with National Technical Education Certificates (NTEC) by 2018.

The move follows a nationwide restructuring of vocational and technical education initiated last year, which consolidated all seven vocational and technical institutions across Brunei as campuses under the institute.

Principal of IBTE SVSB Akandi Hj Abdul Razak told The Brunei Times yesterday that the new NTEC and Higher NTEC programmes will place an increased emphasis on practical training and assessment, designed to equip students with the skills required by the contemporary industries in the sultanate.

“The biggest difference between the courses is the focus on competency-based practical skills over traditional academic curriculum,” said Akandi.

The principal put the ratio of practical to theory under NTEC and HNTEC programmes, which take a year and two years respectively, as 70 to 30 per cent.

“The competency-based requirements are derived from close consultations between IBTE and industry representatives, intended to increase employability of students upon graduation,” said the principal.

He described the collaboration between technical institutions and the industry as “the closest it has ever been”.

“Industry players are contributing ideas and developing the curriculum, to make sure what we are teaching is of maximum relevance to their needs,” he said.

As the school's key performance indicators also include satisfaction of employers on graduates, teaching staff of IBTE SVSB have also been undergoing attachments at companies within the industry.

“This ensures that teachers are kept up-to-date with the demands and best practices of the industries they are teaching in. We have introduced this (attachment) among teaching staff in a phase by phase basis, usually during school holidays,” said Akandi.

IBTE SVSB recently welcomed 167 new students in its latest annual intake in July. They will be the first batch of students undergoing the new HNTEC and NTEC programmes offered by the school.

“We have had great success with the HNTEC Mechnical Engineering programme, which was one of the first HNTEC programmes introduced a few years ago. Almost all of the 50 students from the last batch were absorbed by companies upon graduating,” said Akandi.

The new HNTEC and NTEC courses offered at the school include Business and Finance, Information Technology, Apprenticeship in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, Business and Office Administration and Information Technology.

The Brunei Times