IBTE keen to learn from Singapore’s best practices in technical education
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) is looking to learn some of Singapore’s best practices for technical education and see if it can be applied here.
This also includes Singapore’s experience in centralising its technical education into one campus, which was made 10 years ago according to IBTE Central Principal Dr Sheikh Luqman S A Hamid in an interview with The Brunei Times.
“We do understand how Singapore did it; they moved away from their old campuses about 10 years ago and we wanted to see their challenges in their centralisation phases; and from then, we will see if it is relevant for Brunei to do the same or see whichever the best model is for us,” he said.
“As of now, we are still in the planning stage for the mega-campus and we are also looking at how we can fully utilise all of the seven existing campuses that are currently scattered,” he added.
He also explained that IBTE would need to consider the distance travelled for students in the two proposed campuses.
“Centralising the technical education institutions may be applicable to Singapore as they are smaller than Brunei; but for us, we have four districts to manage so we would have to look at the feasibility and convenience for students to enrol in the campuses,” he said.
“It may be good to have a centralised campus, but it may also be good to have seven; we are currently looking at what is best, but the (centralisation process) may also be a good idea as it would be easier to manage them,” he added.
Besides that, the principal also said that other best practices would include Singapore’s trainings to professionally develop its teachers and how it adapted certain policies that made its technical education effective and efficient.
“Singapore is quite advanced in terms of policy making and also is one of the best education systems in the world, which is why IBTE plans to learn some of the best practices they have and see if it is applicable to Brunei,” he said.
“But it does not mean we wanted to fully copy them; we just wanted to see what is relevant as we also have our own values and we also wanted to try new things just like them,” he added.
Technical courses run under IBTE, he said, should be aligned between economic and human resource planning, particularly in the growing economic clusters and areas that have high potential growth.
He added that the IBTE will provide the competency skills development for the future direction under the country’s Vision 2035.
Dr Sheikh Luqman also said the IBTE is also looking to develop and supply other industries in support of the country’s aim to diversify the economy.
“For example, we could look at the hospitality in Brunei especially in hotels, those are still a distinguished industry in the country; and looking at the sultanate’s eating culture, we could also harness the food and beverages as well as restaurants,” he said.
“Construction is the second largest after oil and gas industry, so we may also look at that; and not to forget the agriculture especially food security as we can also promote and export such, not just in terms of its product but food services as well,” he added.
The principal said it is easier to learn from Singapore as the partnership between the city-state and the country is strong, which could be seen through its pegged currencies aside from an hour long flight away from one another.
“I am hoping that this partnership will continue to be developed and enhanced so we could learn more from each other; what more can be better than learning from your neighbour?”, he said.
The principal was speaking on the sidelines of a technical visit from a delegation led by Singapore’s Permanent Secretary of Education, Chan Lai Fung.
The visit was part of a joint meeting between Brunei and Singapore aiming to discuss developments and future collaboration in education between the two countries.
The Brunei Times