Curriculum reviewed in favour of courses leading to new businesses

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BELAIT

INSTITUTE of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) is reviewing its curriculum to make way for courses that would also lead students to start their own businesses, should they fail to secure employment especially in the private sector.

The review, said IBTE satellite principal Norjemee Jenek, will take into account the capability of the IBTE itself, adding that courses introduced and arranged should also be feasible to be implemented into the institution.

The curriculum to be introduced, he said, is similar to the concept of “being your own boss”, which could be treated as another option to complete the programmes offered in IBTE — producing graduates who could be less dependent on the government and the private sector.

The idea, said Norjemee, is for these graduates to use the skills they learnt from IBTE to start their own businesses, giving an example of a welder producing mechanical parts catering to the needs of the community.

This is important, he said, as this could also cater to students who failed to be absorbed into private companies upon the completion of their courses, as the demand for certain technical skills keep changing from time to time.

The quota per intake for IBTE, said the IBTE satellite principal, remained dependent on demands from industrial players for skill specific students.

However with the new courses, he said, the IBTE is also looking for a fixed quota per intake, adding that it is important as it contributes to the growth of technical education in Brunei.

No time frame was given so far, but Norjemee said the IBTE is looking to get the ongoing review done as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, IBTE is currently receiving visits from their Singaporean counterparts, who will also be undergoing courses at the IBTE Jefri Bolkiah campus and IBTE Sultan Bolkiah campus to learn more of the Bruneian technical courses.

Head of delegates of the city state’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Central and ITE College West shared that creating an entrepreneurial path for technical students is not something that is new in Singapore.

Noor Hasimah Ahmadi, senior lecturer at ITE College West said this is due to the realisation that the technical students who would need to fulfill the industrial demand can also become industrial players themselves. Although the size of the industry matters, both Noor Hasimah said having more people with technical expertise is still important to give more room for the country’s industrial state to grow. A small industry may grow by having more skilled people who are also capable of starting their own businesses, according to the technical skills they had learnt through their training, she said.

Therefore, she said for a country to better develop its technical education approaches, its relevant authorities need to have strong grasp of the state of its technical education while at the same time evaluate the loopholes that might be present for further growth. Reviewing the curriculum regularly against the current demands, she said, is also important as technical education is very dependent on the industrial state of the country – but any reforms or changes should not stray away from learning objectives that has already been set.

The introduction of the entrepreneurship modules in Singapore’s ITE, she said, is aimed at producing a more versatile person who has all the skills needed to fulfill the industrial demand and help companies to grow well.

That is why, with entrepreneurship modules that include lessons for business writing and public speaking, we hope the students can be someone who will be strong and ready against any industrial challenges once they had graduated,” said Noor Hasimah.

“That is why we had also introduced modules that teaches entrepreneurship including public speaking and business writings, hoping that they can be a complete person ready to take on the industrial challenges themselves,” said Noor Hasimah.

The Brunei Times