Youth called to be teacher’s assistants

National 2 minutes, 49 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Education’s Early Childhood Care and Education unit is encouraging more youths to join its volunteer teacher’s assistant programme.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Ermawaty Yacub, a representative of the head of the unit, said the unit will be organising several roadshows to attract more young people to take part.

“We will be conducting roadshows from one school to another to promote the programme besides promoting it through state and private media.”

The programme initially targeted students waiting for their O-level and A-level results and has now expanded to those at higher education institutions.

The aim of the six-month programme, which runs from January to June, is to expose the youth to the culture and concept of volunteering, which is beneficial for their personal development.

In 2013, 114 youths took part in the programme and 162 in 2014. In 2015, 145 took part, while there were only 52 volunteers this year.

“I think the decrease is due to the fact that the participants won’t be paid during or at the end of the programme.

“This is a volunteer programme, and we want to create awareness about the benefits of volunteering,” she said.

Ermawaty said she hopes more youth will join to gain experience and help teachers as well as children in their development.

She said the unit will also be distributing its brochures to the examination section of the ministry in the hope that more youth will become aware of the programme.

It will also be distributing brochures to other education institutions such as Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPU SB).

“The unit is also working on getting unemployed mothers to volunteer for the programme to gain skills as well as help the teachers.”

One of the volunteers who has participated since the programme’s inception in 2013, Nurifahizzah Hj Ramzuzzaman, said the programme allowed her to enhance her communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

The 21-year-old student from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, who volunteered at Mulaut Primary School, said she has always been interested in doing volunteer work as well as becoming a teacher.

“I thought the programme was a perfect way for me to gain experience in both fields. That’s why I decided to participate. It’s also a way for me to give back to the country as well as the community.

“It also allowed me to learn how to interact and help special needs students,” she said, adding that she also encourages other youths to join the programme.

Another volunteer, Munirah Said, said she has wanted to become a teacher since she was young.

“The programme enabled me to experience becoming a teacher, to see the (amount of) dedication a teacher puts into their work and (has towards their) students.”

She said there are definitely challenges teaching children below six years old.

“When I first started, it was difficult to interact with the children, and I had to adapt to each of them as they have different personalities. As time went by, it became easier and it made me see how challenging it is to become a teacher.”

She said she hopes the experience and skills she gained through the programme will help her in the future.

Present to hand over certificates of appreciation to the volunteers was the Director-General of Education, Hj Abdul Rahim Hj Derus. The ceremony took place in the ministry’s main conference room.

The Brunei Times