SMARTER to host Filipino students
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Society for the Management of Autism Related Issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei will begin hosting placements for Filipino students this year, following the recent signing of memorandums of understandings (MoUs) with the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and the Adventist University of the Philippines.
Students from nine relevant faculties from the two universities will be carrying out placements at SMARTER over the next five years, as part of academic exchanges and collaboration activities mentioned in the MoUs.
According to SMARTER President Malai Hj Abdullah Malai Hj Othman, university students from the Faculties of Education, Graduate and Research, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Respiratory Therapy will be undertaking placements at the non-government organisation.
Students studying Special Education, Psychology, Business Administration and Accountancy, and Arts and Sciences will also be coming to SMARTER, he said.
“Students who do work attachments with us are able to learn our strategies, and the best practices in managing individuals with autism,” said the president.
Malai hoped that the collaboration showed that SMARTER is “being recognised by universities”, adding that he hoped it would “be an avenue for people to stop criticising our programme”.
When asked, Malai said the first batch of Filipino students and staff will be coming in April to start their placements at SMARTER.
“Under the MoUs, we expect more students and staff to come to SMARTER over the next few years. I also hope that we can send SMARTER staff to the Philippines to go for short courses,” he said.
SMARTER already has an ongoing collaboration with students from Australia’s Flinders University’s Disability and Community Inclusion Unit.
Last year, eight students and two staff from the university participated in three-week placements at SMARTER.
More students from Flinders University are expected to take up placements at SMARTER in the next three years under Australian government funding.
The next batch of Flinders University students will be coming to Brunei in September, Malai said.
The Brunei Times