‘Special needs students finding work’

National 2 minutes, 24 seconds


A TOTAL of 230 special needs students under the Pre-Vocational Programme have found jobs since it was launched, said the Deputy Minister of Education.

Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bahar was speaking yesterday during the Pre-Vocational Programme certificate presentation ceremony for the 2011-2015 intake held at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex.

He said since it was introduced in 1999, 230 special needs students have completed the Pre-Vocational Programme and were successful in finding employment in the fields of hospitality, farming and the food and beverage industry.

Some of the students have even managed to get jobs as office assistants and a few at local retail stores, supermarkets and sundry shops.

Pg Dato Hj Bahrom added that schools should continue to collaborate with government agencies, the private sector and local companies to further facilitate work attachment for special needs students as it could provide them with practical work experience as well as the chance to interact with the public and learning opportunities.

He added that the attachment programme will be able to prepare the students for work in the real world.

The Pre-Vocational Programme was introduced by the Special Education Unit (UPK) and has been implemented in 27 secondary schools across all four districts.

Thirty-eight special needs students received their certificates for completing the five-year programme yesterday.

Pg Dato Hj Bahrom said in its continual efforts in ensuring that an inclusive education system is being implemented throughout the sultanate, the Education Ministry through the UPK has introduced various education programmes and services to fulfil the needs of special students.

This included the Pre-Vocational Programme, he said, adding that inclusive education provides equal opportunities in accordance with the international concept of Education For All.

He said the Pre-Vocational Programme plays an important role in fostering confidence and social skills amongst special needs students.

The deputy minister said he is proud of the Pre-Vocational Programme students who had recently participated in exhibiting and selling their handmade products to the public.

Sharing some success stories of former students under the programme, he said one student has managed to come up with his own business of making noodles while 11 special athletes from Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam managed to bag three gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games held in Los Angeles.

Also present to deliver her welcoming address was Acting Head of the UPK Pg Sarimah Pg Hj Ahmad.

She said as many as 1,492 students have registered under the programme since it was introduced, adding that the programme’s duration was initially for three years from 1999 until 2002 but currently runs for five years.

Pg Sarimah said this was to accommodate most of the students who completed the programme but were still too young to enter the workforce.

Yesterday’s certificate presentation ceremony also featured an exhibition consisting of handmade items prepared by students from the programme.

The Brunei Times