BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Ministry of Education (MoE) is making changes to its human resources functions to improve teachers’ competence.

As part of the changes, the ministry’s Human Resource Development Division has been upgraded to Department of Educators Management.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah made the announcement in a titah during the 29th Teachers Day celebration on Monday at the International Convention Centre.

“This transformation is imperative as classrooms in the 21st century require significant changes, be it from teachers or students,” the Sultan said.

The ministry is developing a succession plan and HR competency framework as part of the upgrade.

Transforming the Ministry of Education’s human resources towards a performance-driven culture is included in the Ministry of Education’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Strategic initiatives include developing, implementing and monitoring competency-based capacity building programmes; monitoring the development of HR competencies and implementing HR performance management and evaluation (appraisal) system.

Selection, recruitment and retention of human resources will also be based on performance to ensure effective deployment of competent individuals.

MoE’s website stated that the Human Resource Development Division was previously tasked to plan and implement training programmes for teachers.

In his titah, the monarch stressed the importance of lifelong learning as part of teachers’ professional development.

“The education sector needs to respond quickly in line with its responsibilities to develop a credible and skilled generation,” he said, adding that the knowledge they gained would trickle down to their students.

The theme of the celebration, ‘Quality Education as the Core of Student Excellence’, aims to make Brunei a fully developed county by providing quality education as its cornerstone, he said.

“We cannot escape the challenges brought about by globalisation. These challenges can become threats to the culture and identity of the nation. All of this requires vigilance and an updated education system, which includes strengthening the role of teachers,” he added.

Hundreds of teachers attended the annual celebration at ICC, where 27 teachers were recognised for their contribution to education.

Receiving the Meritorious Teachers Award were retired educators Pg Datin Paduka Hjh Mariam Pg Hj Matarsat; Dato Paduka Hj Ishaaq Hj Abdullah and Hjh Halimah Mohd Ya’akub.

Meanwhile, recipients of the Excellent Teachers Award were Dr Lim Lee Hoon, a chemical science lecturer from UBD; Zulkipli Hamid who teaches machining at the IBTE Sultan Bolkiah campus in Seria; Rossaleni Hj Selamat, a Malay language teacher from Masin Secondary School; and Lim Kian Boon, who teaches management at the Institute of Brunei Technical Education.