Brunei reiterates support for ASEAN 5-year work plan

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BRUNEI will play a major role in supporting the development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) under the ASEAN five year work plan, the Deputy Minister of Education said yesterday.

 Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bahar, who was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education at the opening of the TVET International Conference 2016, said that Brunei will undertake major roles in the ASEAN five-year Work Plan (2016-2020) under its fourth sub-goal of “supporting the development of the TVET sector as well as lifelong learning in the region” .

 “This will be done by maximising access to TVET for employment and sustainable development, as well as to strengthen regional harmonisation for the advancement of quality TVET transformation through networking, partnerships and mobilisation of TVET personnel and resources,” he said during the event which was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

 He said the education ministry will work hand in hand in promoting the initiatives of TVET in and outside of Brunei through the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Vocational Education and Training (SEAMEO VOCTECH) along with local TVET providers and other regional platforms.

 According to the ASEAN website, the ASEAN Work Plan 2016-2020 for Education is expected to be launched on June 2016 but did not state exactly when.

 Meanwhile, Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom also urged the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) to be a model in the region in terms of collaboration with industries to support TVET programmes. Brunei has undergone a major transformation in its TVET. IT is viewed as an important education sector where individuals are given the opportunity to enhance their skills and their industry competitiveness which contributes to national economic development, he said.

“The programmes offered (by TVET institutions) are demand-driven and competency-based which are designed to meet the needs of the students, industry and the nation,” he said.

 He added that TVET must prepare graduates who are aware of sustainable development issues and at the same time to be the leading agent of change.  For this to happen, every TVET school must integrate the Education for Sustainable Development in its curriculum and at the same time practice it in their daily school activities, he said.

 According to United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Education for Sustainable Development promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way.  The Deputy Minister added that the conference’s theme of ‘Ensuring Greater Impact of TVET for sustainable Development’ is timely and relevant as countries are experiencing economic difficulties, weakening of national and cultural identities as well as environmental degradation.

“Addressing these three pillars of sustainable development is a challenging task but everyone and every country must take serious actions before it is too late that our future generations could suffer from it,” he said.

The Brunei Times