Monarch spends time with students

, National 3 minutes, 10 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam received the warmest welcome from students and teachers during his visit to several schools yesterday.

His Majesty visited three educational institutions – Menglait Secondary School, Mabohai Primary School and International School Brunei (ISB) – following the key handing over ceremony for 1,234 house recipients at the Plenary Hall, International Convention Centre (ICC).

It was the monarch’s first visit to the three schools.

During the visit, His Majesty took time to mingle with the teachers and students.

Deputy Principal (academic) of Menglait Secondary School Siti Marienah Hj Umar said the school is one of three Model Inclusive Schools (MIS), whose niche area is prevocational programmes.

The other two Model Inclusive Schools are Sultan Sharif Ali Secondary School and Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) College.

Menglait Secondary School currently houses 542 students from Year Seven to Year 11. They have 87 teachers.

Twelve teachers are tasked with teaching the 32 special needs students in the school.

The school also has four relief teachers provided by the Special Education Unit, Ministry of Education, said Siti Marienah.

She also raised the need for more special needs teachers and specialists to enable the students to get the most out of their schooling experience.

“I hope that there will be more teachers who want to help and teach special needs students because these students need one on one attention,” she said.

Menglait Secondary School is also one of the top 10 schools in terms of O-Level results.

“As one of the Model Inclusive Schools, we want to be an example to others, to be one of the best Model Inclusive Schools in Brunei, while maintaining (and improving on) the top 10 ranking in academic performance for our O-Level examination,” she said.

The monarch then made a stop at Mabohai Primary School.

Mabohai Primary School has 248 pupils studying in pre-school to Year Six and 31 teachers. The school also runs religious classes in the afternoon.

Headmistress of Mabohai Primary School Salinawati Md Zainal said that she was very grateful that His Majesty took the time to visit the school as it was one of the few opportunities that her students and colleagues have to meet and interact with the monarch in person.

Salinawati said that the monarch’s visit helped boost the morale of the students and the staff of the school and motivated them to improve their quality of education.

“We were very happy, especially the students. They could not believe that the Sultan came to their school,” said Salinawati.

“It shows that (His Majesty) is interested in the education of his people,” she added.

His Majesty then proceeded to International School Brunei’s (ISB) new campus at Kg Sungai Hanching.

The school offers kindergarten, early learning, primary and secondary school education.

At the school, His Majesty proceeded to tour the classrooms of his children, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

He also toured the design & technology, film and arts classes.

ISB Executive Principal Dr Steven P Geraghty said the new campus, which opened its doors to students last August, is now complete.

The $30 million campus began construction in 2014.

“We have grown from 930 students three and a half years ago. Now our student roll is 1,265 but we still have about 140 places left. I think people appreciate the new campus and the facilities it has to offer,” he said.

As part of the new campus, the school is also building a boarding house for its students.

With the new boarding facility (for 180 students), the school is hoping to bring in international students.

“It is already a third full. We already have 60 students from our boarding facility. Another 100 places will be available at the end of February,” he said.

The Brunei Times