Special programmes, services offered to Brunei’s gifted students
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THERE are currently 50 gifted students from all over the country who are participating in programmes under the Gifted Education Programmes and Services (GEPS), Special Education Unit (UPK), Ministry of Educaton.
According to GEPS Coordinator Mona Aliana DP Hj Md Alimin, the objective of the GEPS is to conduct a programme that meets the learning need of these gifted students which challenges them to reach their full potential outside of their normal school lessons.
She added that not many people know that the special education unit handles students from “both side of the spectrum” which includes students with special needs as well as gifted students.
“Because we are not in a school, we have more fluidity to cover different areas and we can focus on their skills and aspect of their learning (that they need the most),” said Mona Aliana.
According to Mona Aliana, gifted students are selected annually from all Year 6 students in the country. These students are nominated by their schools and undergo a series of screening processes before they are selected by GEPS.
She added that after the students are selected they are enrolled into a five year programme where they are taught research skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and information gathering.
“We’re focused on (providing them) skill based (knowledge) rather than content based (knowledge). The idea is that with skill, they will be able to apply it to just about anywhere which would provide more fluidity (in their learning),” said Mona Aliana.
Students who participated in the initial programme will then have the option of joining a more intensive programme after completing their O-Levels.
GEPS conducts session two to three times a month lead by educators and experts from government educational institutions at the UPK building.
These session cover various topics but recently has been focus on areas such as diversifying Brunei’s economy and Science and Technology. - Julius Hong
The Brunei Times