With the vision “Quality Education, Dynamic Nation”, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is committed to providing equitable quality education to the future generation guided by the values of Malay Islamic Monarchy. The ministry aims to equip the citizens with knowledge and 21st Century skills to be future ready, positive and responsible learners contributing to the nation’s growth.
The ministry’s mission of delivering holistic education to achieve fullest potential for all is translated through key stages of developmental outcomes. Students are guided by professional teachers from early childhood to post-secondary education.
Under the long term outcomes of the ministry’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022, the MoE plans towards a first class education system. This includes having qualified and high quality teachers, high quality schools and students with high achievements.
The country’s National Education System for the 21st Century (SPN21) takes into account the abilities of individual students, offering multiple pathways. Highly capable students are able to complete their secondary education in a shorter period. Through this system, students have the options to choose programmes that best suit their abilities, interests, growth and development.
The ministry has a policy of providing a minimum of 12 years of education. This comprises seven years in primary education (inclusive of one year in pre-school).
Formal schooling in the country begins at pre-school level at the age of five, followed by six years of primary education. After the primary school assessment at the end of Year 6, students will proceed to secondary (tertiary) level.
Secondary education is divided into lower secondary level and upper secondary level. The lower secondary level covers two years of common curriculum – Year 7 and Year 8. Students then sit for the student progress examination and proceed to the upper secondary level.
The upper secondary level is split into three programmes. The first programme is the General Secondary Education Programme, split into two categories: Express (two years) or Normal (three years). The second programme, Applied Secondary Education Programme, lasts for three years. In both programmes, students sit for the Brunei Cambridge General Certificate of Education (BC GCE) ‘O’ Level and International General Certificate of Secondary Examination (IGCSE).
The third programme, Special Applied Programme, follows a different pathway. Students enrol into Pearson Business and Technology Education Council Programme which gears students towards vocational and technical education. Students with special needs and learning difficulties have a curriculum adapted to their abilities based on the individualised education plan and remedial education plan.
There are about 46 private education institutions providing kindergarten and primary education, and about 118 government education institutions all over the Sultanate which have been divided into six different clusters.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, schools and vocational institutions across the nation were quick to adapt to online learning at home for safety measures.
Students learned from various online platforms based on their schools’ capacity, whether through e-mail, Google Docs, WhatsApp, video conferencing, Microsoft Teams, social media platforms or other compatible telecommunications application.
The schools also provided home-pack learning for students who did not have access to the Internet or were not able to afford computers and handphones for online learning. Some schools provided the option of a drive-through pick up method for the parents.
Meanwhile, the MoE in collaboration with the Special Education Unit also developed the home-pack learning package with guidelines for students with special needs. Several technologies were prepared by the Special Education Unit to help with the students’ learning.
To avoid overcrowding on e-learning, classes were divided into several groups. Some opted in accordance to their timetables at schools. Education by means of television programmes were also implemented to supplement teaching and learning through mass media.
The MoE provides scholarships for talented and qualified students to pursue higher education through its Government Scholarship Scheme to study abroad, whether to pursue their First Degree, Master, Professional or PhD. Aside from the Government Scholarship Scheme, students are able to study abroad through the Education Loan Assistance Scheme (SBPP). If a recipient successfully graduates with a First Class (Honours), the loan is treated as a scholarship, and the recipient is not required to repay the loan.
Other scholarships available include the prestigious Sultan’s Scholar scholarship scheme offered by Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah for the highest achievers in the country. Bruneians also have the opportunity of obtaining a scholarship under the Ministry of Defence to study at the world’s top and renowned universities. The scholarship is aimed to develop outstanding leaders who will contribute to the nation’s defence and security. With the various government aid and scholarship opportunities, Brunei Darussalam strives to realise its Vision 2035 for an educated, highly skilled and successful society.
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