JA Brunei officially launched

National 3 minutes, 6 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

JUNIOR Achievement (JA) Brunei was formally launched yesterday after three years of operation in the sultanate.

Present as the guest of honour was Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Hj Junaidi Hj Abdul Rahman. A JA Worldwide official also graced the launching ceremony at The Rizqun International Hotel.

In his speech, the Managing Director of JA Brunei, Louis Tan, said Junior Achievement is one of the largest global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dedicated to addressing fundamental social and economic challenges faced by young people.

“In 2013, we piloted JA programmes in several schools in Brunei. Since then, these programmes have been rolled out in 16 schools benefiting 800 students,” said Tan.

“The feedback from volunteers, participating schools and teachers have been very positive,” he added.

A statement provided at the event said that JA Brunei has introduced three programmes in the country, including “JA More than Money”, a six-week basic financial literacy programme that, among others, teaches youth the concept of earning, spending, saving and donating money, and to start their financial planning at a young age.

Another programme is known as “JA Economics for Success”, which helps students to learn about spending money within a budget, saving and investing wisely as well as using credit cautiously.

The other programmed is called “JA Company Programme”, which focuses on entrepreneurship and work readiness, and imparts knowledge on starting and managing a business that is competitive in the global economy.

“Entrepreneurship (is) a vital contributor to the nation’s economic growth and prosperity. Successful path breaking offerings by entrepreneurs, in the form of new goods and services, can produce a cascading effect in the national economy,” he added.

He said that with the establishment of JA Brunei, there will be dedicated resources to drive JA programmes and enlist more schools benefiting more Brunei youth.

After 16 schools have completed JA programmes last year, another 16 different schools comprising seven primary schools, five secondary schools and four sixth form centres will participate in JA programmes under JA Brunei this year.

Meanwhile, on behalf of JA Worldwide, Vivian Lau, who is also President of JA Asia-Pacific, said that JA is committed to support the youth to fulfil their full potential.

“We support young people to understand each other, to learn from each other, to challenge each other and to collaborate with each other to build a better tomorrow,” Lau said.

To achieve such goal, she said they are holding annually the Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year Competition. For this year, the contest is scheduled in February in South Korea.

“We look forward to have young people from Brunei to participate in such a regional event and even hosting the event in the country in the near future,” she added.

Yesterday’s event also saw the presentation of certificate commemorating the official launch of JA Brunei, followed by the presentation of certificates of appreciation to sponsors and the previous participating schools.

At the sidelines of the event, Sufeatin Surhan, a representative from the Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (Maktab Sains), told The Brunei Times that the “JA Economics for Success” programme was delivered by volunteers who came to the school every Thursday from January to June last year.

“It was a good opportunity for our students to learn about the importance of saving and insurance,” Sufeatin said.

“I think the programme is very helpful. It is something that is not in the school’s syllabus or taught by the teachers. It is extra information that will be beneficial for the students and help them in financial planning,” said the science teacher.

Sufeatin supervised the “JA Economics for Success” programme held for Year Seven students of Maktab Sains last year.

The Brunei Times