The latest development in education is the
abolishment of the GCE `N' Level Examinations in 2006. From
2004 onwards, students who pass their Penilaian Menengah
Bawah (PMB) or Lower Secondary Assessment examination at
Form 3 will sit for their GCE `O' Levels at Form 5.
Previously, students who obtained less
than four credits at PMB could opt to sit for the `N' Level
examination that led to technical or vocational courses.
The Ministry of Education has announced
that the abolishment of this examination would hopefully
lead students to work harder to achieve success. Another
recent development was the merging of religious and general
curriculum schools into one unitary system of education.
The objective was to allow schools to
share the same building and facilities under one school
management, with all separate religious curricula from
religious schools streamlined into one curricular component
of Islamic Education for an integrated education system.
On January 3, 2004, the Integrated
Education System was implemented as a pilot scheme in 37
schools making Islamic Education a compulsory subject taken
by all Muslim children.
With the inauguration of the new Education
Order 2003, which aims towards an effective, efficient and
equitable system of education that is both consonant with
MIB - the national philosophy - as well as the needs of a
modern, technological and ICT age. Education development in
Brunei Darussalam has come a very long way.
Formal education first appeared in Brunei
in the form of a Malay vernacular school built in Brunei
Town (now known as Bandar Seri Begawan) in the year 1912.
This was followed by the building of
similar schools in Muara, Belait and Tutong in the next six
years. The Chinese community established their own school in
1916 and the first nonGovernment English medium primary
school was established in Seria in 1931. Limited compulsory
attendance for all children was introduced in 1929.
By the outbreak of the war in 1941, Brunei
had 32 vernacular (Malay, English, Chinese) schools
comprising a total enrolment of 1,746 pupils. Education
resumed after the war when a Brunei Town Government English
school was opened in October 1951.
A similar school was opened in Kuala
Belait a year later. Within three years, secondary education
In 1954 Brunei embarked on a Five-Year
Development Plan for education that became the
infrastructure of the Ministry of Education.
New schools were planned and teachers were
trained and employed. By 1959, there were 15,006 pupils
enrolled in the State's schools.
In 1984 a bilingual education policy -
dwibahasa - was introduced to ensure that pupils attain a
high degree of proficiency in both English and Malay.
In 1985, the National Education System
incorporating English and Malay as the media of instruction
Free schooling to all citizens and
permanent residents of Brunei Darussalam was also
introduced. As a result, the literacy rate in Brunei
Darussalam rose from 69% in 1971 to 92.5% in 2001.
Policy, Structure And System
The formal school system in Brunei
Darussalam adopts the 7-3-2-2 pattern representing seven
years of primary education including a year of pre-school,
three years of lower secondary, two years of upper secondary
or vocational or technical education and two years of
Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Institut
Teknologi Brunei, the PAPRSB College of Nursing or one of
the technical and vocational training centres, provides post
secondary and tertiary education.
Children stay at the Primary level for six
years, (Primary 1 to Primary 6). At the end of Primary 6,
pupils are required to sit for the Primary Certificate of
Examination (PCE/PSR Penilaian Sijil Rendah), a public
examination. On passing the PCE, pupils enter Secondary One.
The duration of Lower Secondary schooling
is three years. At the end of the third year, students sit
for the Penilaian Menengah Bawah (PMB) or Lower Secondary
On passing the PMB examination (beginning
2004) students go straight to the Upper Secondary Level to
pursue two to three years of upper secondary education
leading to the Brunei Cambridge General Certificate of
Education (GCE `O' Level) examination.
(The GCE `N' Level examinations were
previously offered to less academically inclined students
would be abolished in 2006).
At the Upper Secondary level, students are
channeled into the Science, Arts or Technical stream. At the
end of Secondary 5, academic achievers will sit for the
Brunei-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level (GCE `O' Level)
Those with relevant `O' Level passes may
then proceed to do a further two-year Pre-University course
leading to the Brunei-Cambridge Advance Level Certificate of
Education examination (GCE `A' Level).
They may then decide to opt for
employment, undertake training programmes at the various
technical and vocational colleges in the country or complete
their tertiary education either at Universiti Brunei
Darussalam or abroad.
Statistic of government school, students and teachers, 2004
• Number of Government Pre-Primary &
Primary Schools throughout the country in
2004 (May): 126
• Number of Government Pre-Primary & Primary Schools by
63; Tutong 32; Belait 18; Temburong 13
• Number of Government Arabic Schools throughout the country
in 2004: 6
• Number of Government Arabic School Students throughout the
country in 2004:
• Number of Government Pre-Primary & Primary Students
throughout the country in
2004 (May): 32,956
• Number of Government Pre-Primary & Primary School Teachers
country in 2004 (May): 2,510
• Number of Government Secondary Schools & Colleges
throughout the country in
• Number of Government Secondary School & College Students
country in 2004: 32,182
• Number of Government Secondary & College Teachers
throughout the country in
There are 80 private schools in Brunei
offering nursery, primary and secondary education in Brunei
The role of these non-Government schools is to reduce
reliance on the Government to provide education for the
children of the country and also offer parents choices as to
where they would prefer their children to be educated.
The Government provides an education allowance of B$120.00
per month for citizens and permanent residents who are
Statistics Of Non- Government Schools & Students In 2004
• Number of non-Government Nursery,
Pre-Primary, Primary & Secondary Schools
throughout the country in 2004: 80
• Number of non-Government Nursery Schools by District in
15; Belait 4;Tutong 0 Temburong 1
• Number of non-Government Pre-Primary & Primary Schools by
Muara 33; Belait 5; Tutong 7; Temburong 1
• Number of non-Government Primary & Secondary Schools
Schools) by District in 2004: Brunei-Muara 7; Belait 7; Tutong 0; Temburong 0
• Number of Students registered in non-Government Nursery,
& Secondary Schools throughout the country in 2004: 31,035
• Number of Students registered in non-Government Nursery,
& Secondary Schools (incl. International Schools) by District in 2004: Brunei-
22,147; Belait 6,305; Tutong 2,436; Temburong 147
Technical And Vocational Schools And Centres
Brunei has many education and training institutions that
offer a wide range of full-time programmes at certificate
level) for the technically inclined. In 2003, 1,063 students
registered for Higher National Diploma and certificate
courses while 3,878 registered for the National Diploma
The number of teaching staff at the
various Vocational and Technical institutions for 2004 is
830, out of whom 342 or 41% are female. Expatriate teachers
constitute 19% of the total VTE teaching staff.
The following arc the centres offering VTE
courses. They include:
Nakhoda Ragam Vocational School
Trade level programmes offered include
Bricklaying and Concreting, Carpentry and Joinery,
Electrical, Electronics, Furniture and Cabinet Making,
Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Pipefitting, Dressmaking
Sultan Bolkiah Vocational School
Programmes offered are Clerical Studies
(Account Clerk, Computer Clerk, and General Office Clerk),
Dressmaking and Tailoring, Machining, Motor Vehicle
Mechanic, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, Vehicle Body
Engineering, Welding and Fabrication.
The Mechanical Training Centre
Programmes offered are operation,
maintenance and repair of heavy construction equipment.
Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College
The National Diploma courses offered
include Aircraft Engineering, Automotive Engineering,
Business & Finance, Computer Studies, Construction,
Electronic & Communication Engineering, Electrical and
Electronic Engineering, Property Management, Secretarial
Studies, Geomatics, Hotel & Catering Management, Travel &
Tourism Services and Library Management. The college also
offers Pre-National Diploma courses and Trade Level
In 1996, there was a joint apprenticeship
program between Royal Brunei Catering Sdn Bhd and the
college, which resulted in over 41 graduates.
another apprenticeship training program in professional
Cookery and Service produced an additional seven graduates.
The Jefri Bolkiah College Of Engineering
Courses offered are Pre-National Diploma
and National Diploma programmes in fields such as Automotive
Engineering, Computer Studies and Electrical & Electronic
Other National Diploma courses include Marine Engineering,
Manufacturing Engineering, Plant Engineering, Refrigeration
and Air-conditioning, Building Services Engineering, Welding
& Fabrication Engineering and Instrumentation and Control
Institut Teknologi Brunei
Higher National Diploma courses offered
include Business & Finance, Computer Studies and Electrical
and Electronic Engineering.
Since relocating its campus adjacent to
Universiti Brunei Darussalam in 1998, the institute has
introduced new courses and expanded existing HND courses to
included Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Communication and
Computer Systems Engineering, and Electrical Power and
Building Services Engineering.
A Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering under a twinning
arrangement with the Queens University of Belfast (QUB) is
another course of study offered by the Civil Engineering
Brunei Arts And Handicraft Training Centre
Managed by the Ministry of Culture, Youth
and Sports, this centre offers courses in silver and brass
smithing, woodcarving, cloth weaving, basketry, songkok-making
Currently, 90 students are studying at the centre including
43 in weaving, 17 in silver smithing, 10 in engraving, two
in brass-smithing and 18 in songkok-making.
Pre-University, Degree And Professional Courses
Laksamana College Of Business
Laksamana College of Business (email:
firstname.lastname@example.org/ webpage: www.laksamanacollege.edu.bn),
which opened in March 2002, offers Pre-University,
Undergraduate Degree and Professional Courses in Brunei.
A first of its kind in this country,
Laksamana College is a joint venture college with Kensington
College of Business in London. Offering studies in
Accountancy, Business Studies, Law, IT, Travel/Tourism,
IELTS and others as well as certificate, diploma, and
pre-university foundation courses for `O' Level holders,
this college is an alternative pathway for students wishing
to obtain a UK degree. The Brunei Accreditation Council
accredits the university foundation and degree courses.
The Brunei Institute Of Geomatics (Big)
The Brunei Institute of Geomatics (BIG)
was launched in September 2003. Geomatics is the art,
science and technology related to the management of
geographically related information.
BIG is an institution
that encompasses and represents several professions
including land surveyors, hydrographers, land economists,
land managers, land valuers, remote sensing scientists,
cartographers, photogrammetrists, geographers, urban and
rural planners, land valuers, land officers, property and
asset managers as well as estate managers among others.
Disciplines include surveying, mapping, remote sensing,
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning
Tertiary Level Institutions
Universiti Brunei Darussalam
In September 2004, Universiti Brunei
Darussalam (UBD) held its 16th Convocation where 918
graduates received their degrees, diplomas and certificates.
UBD is the only national university in
Brunei Darussalam. Since its establishment 19 years ago, it
has successfully produced thousands of graduates and
delivered its first PhD graduate in Mathematics Education in
In November 2003, UBD signed two
agreements for the commencement of medical/health care
courses in the Sultanate.
An MoU signed between UBD and St
George's Hospital Medical School in London has resulted in
the teaching of the UBD Masters of Science Degree in Primary
Health Care in early 2004.
This is a three-year part-time Masters
Programme for clinicians interested in a career in General
The contract between UBD and the Royal
College of General Practitioners, UK for the accreditation
of UBD as an Examining Centre for the 'Memebership of the
Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP)' has seen
UBD's Medical Institute being internationally accredited and
made an examination centre for the Asean region.
Other ongoing efforts of the university
include the establishment of several new research centres
such as the Policy Studies Institute and the offering of
several new programmes including BA Major in Sociology and
Anthropology and BA in English and Language Studies.
By the new academic year of 2005/2006, UBD
will be offering three pure science programmes to produce
scientists in Integrated Physics, Chemistry and Computer
The Brunei Institute Of Technology (Institut
The Brunei Institute of Technology (ITB)
offers courses such as HND in Business & Finance
(Accounting, Management, and Banking), Computing &
Information Systems, Communication and Computer Systems
Engineering, Electrical Power and Building Services
Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
In 2000, ITB enrolled its first intake for
a degree course, B Eng in Civil Engineering. This degree
course is a twinning programme run in collaboration with
Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and United
In 2003, student enrolment was 770
including overseas students from Islamic Educational
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), the
Commonwealth and ASEAN with Brunei Government scholarships.
ITB has been awarded for its achievements
including the Civil Service Award in the year 2000 and 2002,
third place (bronze medal) for its project `Computer Network
Design and Installation' and 2nd place (silver medal) for
its project `Testing and Measurement for Construction
ITB has proposed new degree courses in
Computer Networking, Networking Engineering and Finance &
Banking and an HND course in the field of Tourism services.
Maktab Jururawat Pengiran Anak Puteri
Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah
(The Paprsb Nursing College)
The Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah
Sa'adatul Bolkiah (PAPRSB) College of Nursing is 18 years
A tertiary nursing educational institution, it provides
Pre Registration Diploma in Nursing Courses, Diploma in
Nursing (Conversion), Diploma in Midwifery and Advanced
Diploma Nursing courses for registered nurses as well as 10 specialised advanced courses including accident and
emergency, critical care, operating theatre, community
health, paediatric, otorhinolaryngology (ORL) and head and
neck, therapeutic nursing and midwifery.
The college launched its Diploma in Mental
Health Nursing in 2004 where students received clinical
placement for two weeks at the Woodbridge Mental Institute,
Since its establishment, some 895 students
have obtained the Diploma in Nursing whilst 210 Registered
Nurses have been awarded various Advanced Nursing Diplomas.
Currently there are students studying for
the Diploma in Nursing while there arc 78 Registered Nurses
studying various courses in the advanced nursing programme.
The College offers its students many
opportunities to study for degrees and other advanced
In 2003, the Board of Management of the
College of Nursing approved a scheme for students who
completed their Diploma in Nursing to continue their studies
in various advanced courses.
The first 23 graduates selected
have completed this scheme and have been awarded a double
diploma in the 10th convocation in March 2004.
And Special Projects
Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran
Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji
Hassanal Bolkiah is a learning institution that combines
memorising the AI-Quran with the learning of Quranic
knowledge and other academic subjects.
Currently, 209 students including 100
females are enrolled in the school. To date, 44 students
have completed memorising the 30 juzuk of Al-Quran of which
seven of them have been confirmed as hafiz/hafizah by the
Tasmi' Higher Committee.
The Institute, located in Kampong Temasek,
Jalan Tutong, has shown its achievement in producing
Bruneian students who are successful in both their academic
studies as well as Hafiz Al-Quran (one who is able to
To date 24 of its students have continued
their higher studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam as well
as overseas in Mahad Qiraat Al-Azhar, Egypt, Amman Jordan,
International University, Malaysia and Cardiff University
Wales, United Kingdom.
They are studying for their first degree
in several fields including Islamic Studies, Syariah, Law
and Architectural Engineering.
Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre
Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre in
Temburong was built in 1991 with the aim of carrying out
joint research with the Royal Geographical Society of London
to provide baseline data for research at the Centre on
tropical rain forests.
As it is in close proximity to the
National Forest Reserve, the Centre is popular with
researchers as well as schools and others, particularly
nature lovers from within the country and outside Brunei.
Information And Communication Technology (ICT)
In 1984, Brunei Shell donated BBC
computers to some selected Government secondary schools.
These computers were used in computer appreciation clubs.
In 1986, Awang Semaun Secondary School
became the first school to introduce computer studies as an
optional subject at the upper secondary level.
Students were prepared for `0' level
computer studies in Brunei Cambridge General Certificate of
Since 1991, computer studies have been
introduced as an optional subject to lower and upper
Government secondary schools.
In 1997, the Ministry of Education
introduced the Educational Information System (EIS) as an
initiative developed to replace a PC-based Educational
Statistic System. By early 2000, the Department of Planning,
Development and Research provided Internet and e-mail
services to selected senior officers using existing EIS
infrastructure and equipment.
E-Mail service was also provided to all
principals, headmasters and headmistresses in Government
schools and senior officers.
In 1999, the Ministry initiated and
implemented the Primary School Computer Project in selected
Government primary schools.
In the first phase of this computer
project, multimedia PCs with headphones, microphones and
speakers were supplied to 50 selected primary schools.
Each school was also provided with a
colour printer, a hub for networking, furniture, carpet,
security grilles, power sockets and air conditioners.
A total of 100 teachers (two from each
school) participated in "Basic ICT Skills" conducted by
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Istitute of Education (SHBIE),
Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College (MTSSR) and Jefri
Bolkiah College of Engineering (MKJB).
Fifty teachers also
underwent a course "Integration of ICT Use in the Primary
School Curriculum" organised and conducted by SHBIE.
Use of ICT in education initially focused
on core subjects like Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics
Phase Two computer project was initiated
in 2001 whereby a total of 72 Government primary and 26
secondary schools were provided with 53 multimedia PCs.
All these PCs were wirelessly peer-to-peer
connected and came long with a colour printer, a hub for
networking, a laser printer, a modem and a CD-Read and Write
Drive, some educational software, furniture, carpet,
security grilles, power sockets, air conditioners and
A total 146 Government primary teachers
attended a training course in "Basic ICT Skills" conducted
by ITB and MKJB.
All Government secondary principals and
deputy principals also attended a course in "Microsoft Excel
and Microsoft PowerPoint" in SEAMEO VOCTECH.
They also visited Jerudong International
School to have a closer look at how ICT was used in teaching
and learning. 10 Primary teachers attended a "Multimedia
Production" course at SEAM1EO VOCTECH.
Phase Two computer project also saw the
provision of training development continuity in addition to
the above course, notably in the Project "Integration ICT
Across the School Curriculum in the Government Primary and
A total 265 primary and secondary school
teachers and five officers from the Department of Curriculum
Development attended a 16-week professional staff
development course in July 2003.
In 2002, through the Department of
Economic Planning & Development, the Prime Minister's
Office's "Short Term Economic Recovery Project", Project
"Internet for Schools" was conceptualised and implemented by
the Department of ICT.
The end of 2002 saw a "Design & Technology
Project" being implemented in four primary and secondary
schools in Brunei Darussalam.
This project was a joint initiative
between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and BAE Systems
(UK). Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan (MSPSBS);
Sekolah Menengah Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja (SMPDSM); Sekolah
Rendah Dato Marsal (SRDM) and Sekolah Rendah Rimba (SRR)
were selected to participate in this initiative.
A total of
80 teachers and officers from the Department of Schools,
Department of ICT, and Department of Curriculum Development
attended a five day ICT and D & T training course (from 23 -
29 October 2002). The course was arranged by BAE Systems
(UK) and conducted by experts from the UK.
The Ministry of Education through the
Government has spent a total of B$20.7 million in the
implementation of ICT initiatives.
Today, almost all Government primary and
secondary schools are equipped with computer hardware,
software resources, ICT competency training for teachers and
administrators and training courses for teachers and
officers in the integration of ICT across the school
curriculum. Soon, all schools will be connected to the
Internet and the World Wide Web.
It is estimated that with e-Government
initiatives such as the e-Education flagship, an estimated
total of B$145 million would be spent under the Ministry of
Education's five pillars of strategic ICT programmes by
They are: Edunet, eLearning, Education
Information System (EIS), Digital Library, and Human
Capacity Building. Of this, 15% has already been spent in
--Courtesy of Brunei Year Book