BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Ministry of Education will revise the curriculum of core subjects, including English and Mathematics in the upcoming 2021/22 fiscal year as part of initiatives to improve education standards.

In his budget readout at the Legislative Council session on Saturday, Minister of Education YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Hamzah Hj Sulaiman outlined eight initiatives that his ministry will undertake in the next financial year.

Without providing details on the curriculum revision, the minister said a new digital literacy programme will be introduced while the financial literacy programme for schools will be updated.

Earlier this year, YB Dato Hj Hamzah had said his ministry was drafting digital literacy standards to train students in using technology from a young age.

The ministry also intends to review its learning support programme for students and rent computers for needy students to assist in their online learning.

Other initiatives include improving the asset management and maintenance of education institutions and and develop better bus and boat transport arrangements for students.

The ministry will also continue its School Meals Plan, which was introduced in 2018.

MoE tables budget of $759.74 million

The ministry proposed a budget of $759.74 million for the 2021/2022 fiscal year, a slight increase from the previous year.

An additional $29.41 million has been tabled for the ministry’s 11th National Development Plan projects.

YB Dato Hj Hamzah said the education ministry will adopt two main strategies in transforming human resources towards a performance-based culture.

In line with the ministry 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, these strategies aimed to achieve MoE’s key performance indicators and Brunei’s Vision 2035.

The strategies include developing the skills of teachers and MoE staff as well as improving the teacher recruitment process through the Immersion and Apprenticeship Programme.

The ministry plans to conduct professional development programmes for school leaders and educators and provide upskilling programmes to improve the competencies of officers in non-teaching posts.

A programme to develop education specialists is also in the pipeline.

MoE reports improved education outcomes

YB Dato Hj Hamzah said his ministry’s investment in human resources has started to show positive outcomes based on the results of last year’s public examinations.

The ministry reported a 5.5 per cent increase in students acquiring at least five O-levels and a 6.9 percent increase in students who had at least three A-levels compared to the previous year.

In addition, the employment rate of Politeknik Brunei (PB) and Brunei Institute of Technical Education (IBTE) has reached 70 percent 18 months after the 2018 cohort graduated, the minister said.

More students are also being admitted to PB and IBTE and competition for places has increased, he added.