The Ministry of Education aims to produce 120 accredited experts and specialised teaching coaches by 2019, in efforts to produce students who are highly skilled in maths and English.

A total of 276 potential local coaches have been identified by school leaders and they will undergo training in phases, said Aliuddin Hj Abdul Rahman, the head of the Literacy and Numeracy Coaching Programme (LNCP).

“We want to improve the quality of our local English and Mathematics teachers,” he said.

Aliuddin added, the outcome of this programme is that students will become highly numerate and highly literate in English, where they will be able to apply their skills beyond the classrooms.

The objective of the LNCP is to assist and support teachers’ capacity building and teaching methodologies, he said.

This was part of a three-year consultancy agreement signed between the Ministry of Education and the Education Development Trust (EDT) in August last year.

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PHASE 1: INCECPTION

There are three phases to the programme, Aliuddin said.

Under the inception phase (from August 15 to December 31, 2016), five international coaches were assigned to 24 primary schools in Brunei-Muara district to conduct research on the schools’ literacy and numeracy programmes.

  • 29 local teachers have completed two training programmes to become accredited as teaching coaches.
  • Another 21 teachers will be completing the training this November.

The findings from the research indicated that there is a need to address pedagogic skills and contents with focus on dialogic teaching and learning, task design and assessing learning, he said.

“These are the three things that we need to improve. It is not that we did not achieve the standard, but we want to improve that standard.”

Dialogic teaching and learning refers to understanding how the students learn; what is effective classroom interaction; purpose of classroom activities and develop key pedagogical skills.

“It is not a one-size-fits-all approach,” he said.

The tasks were designed to enable students to participate in activities, discuss key ideas as well as understand the purpose and context. It will allow teachers to identify high-performing and low-performing students by gauging their understanding.

“These changes of course will take time. It is not going to change in a fortnight.”

PHASE 2: IMPLEMENTATION

The implementation phase began in January this year and will continue until June 2019.

The implementation phase focuses on three main areas including building the skills of central office leaders and the capacity of local teachers.

Sixty international coaches are deployed to 155 schools nationwide: 117 primary schools, six schools under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (religious and Arabic schools) and 32 secondary schools including Sports School.

“One international coach will go to four schools where they will observe, conduct demonstrations, give feedback, and conduct professional development for their learning partners.”

ACCREDITATION PROCESS OF LOCAL COACHES

A total of 276 potential local coaches nationwide have been identified by school leaders and they will undergo a training programme in phases.

Upon nomination, they will undergo an induction programme organised by BDTA – EDT for 4 weeks. They then will undergo five – six weeks of Coaching Model Training (CMT) followed by an in-school Coaching Training (6-8 weeks).

So far, 29 local coaches had completed the two training programmes required for them to be accredited as local coaches. Another 21 will be completing their trainings this November.

Aliuddin is hopeful that they will be able to produce 50 credited local coaches by the end of this year.

By the end of 2019, the target is to have at least 120 accredited local specialised and expert coaches.

PHASE 3: SUSTAIN 

By the end of 2019, Aliuddin added that they want to have their own HR Unit, training centre and local experts.

“The HR Unit will continue and run the programme with our local experts- local coaches, head of clusters (HoC) and Central Office Leaders coaching the other teachers. We want to have the 120 accredited local coaches to continue this programme. Brunei Darussalam Teacher Academy will also act as the training centre to support the programme,” he added.

THE NEED FOR CENTRALISED DATA MANAGEMENT

The programme, however, lacks the centralised data management that prevents them from providing the appropriate support to teachers and students.

The Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Suyoi Hj Osman, pointed this out during the programme’s first accreditation ceremony in August last year. Aliuddin gave his assurance that they are trying their best to deal with the issue.

Aliuddin said they will use the ministry’s Integrated National Education Information System (iNEIS) for their centralised data management.

“We want to create a data driven culture of professional learning community (PLC). The iNEIS will also be improve on to ensure that they can be used so that all the data can be access by all relevant stakeholders,”he added.

CHALLENGES

In addition to the lack of centralised data management system, Aliuddin said the unwillingness and reluctance of learning partners to be observed and coached by international coaches during the programme initial stage and the limited number of ICs to cater to the schools posed another set of challenges.

“The most important thing in coaching is to build trust and relationship. Alhamdulilah, within seven months, we managed to build that rapport between our international coaches, learning partners and the schools.

“With only 60 international coaches available for 155 schools…we are very flexible and adapting the programme as we go along to ensure that every school will be supported in the programme,” he said.

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