Moulding future entrepreneurs with new curriculum

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Ministry of Education will incorporate ‘entrepreneurship skills’ into the secondary school curriculum and the Business, Art and Technology (BAT) subject by 2015, Borneo Bulletin reported.

This was revealed by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, the Minister of Education at the launching of the ‘Brunei Entrepreneurship Education Scheme (BEES) 2013’ and the BEES Convention 2012 yesterday at the Manggis Ballroom of Hua 110 Mall.

“This will complement the early inclusion of soft skills development in the primary level along with the entrepreneurship skills that has been implemented in both technical and vocational institutions,” the minister said.

He also expressed his gratitude towards sponsors of the BEES programme namely Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) for their cooperation.

It is also an innovative course that complements the objectives of the 21″ Century Education System (SPN21) in inculcating entrepreneurship skills in the classroom.

“We have witnessed the success of the BEES programme through the completion of the first cohort comprising 381 students from 17 schools.

“Entrepreneurship challenges the dedication of an individual. Hence, failure can be perceived as a form of encouragement. I wish to congratulate the 66 trainers and mentors for their contribution to this programme.

“The introduction of the entrepreneurship skills is vital amid the challenges faced in the 21St Century and today’s job landscape. The SPN21 was also implemented to tackle such issues whilst focussing on a student-centric system and providing various education paths,” Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar said.

The minister urged the community to be open-minded and choose self-employment as an alternative.

He also cited various examples of self-employed businesses in developed countries that have reached international levels.

“The government is currently focussing on economic diversification thus making it conducive for young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. The success depends on the right ideas and interests in exploring prospective business opportunities.

“This is where SPN21 plays its role to produce students with multi-skill sets and capabilities to explore various job opportunities.

“The importance of BEES is to mould students into innovative, independent, creative individuals willing to grasps any opportunities available,” the minister highlighted.

Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar also acknowledged that the qualities achieved by the first cohort of the BEES programme have shown encouraging development.

“The concept of learning is ‘learning by doing’ to provide students with a clear picture of the business world, especially on challenges and market situations. Business ideas implemented by BEES companies are new and challenging to the participants. However, there is more room for improvement and they should not limit their ideas,” the minister reiterated.

He urged the second cohort to produce better business plans and ideas with unique characteristics such as opportunities in advertising, online businesses, tourism, healthcare, business services, aquacultures and agriculture among others.

To achieve such objectives, support from local entrepreneurs in this fields is crucially needed and hopefully this will encourage the participants to think globally.

The minister also advised mentors from the first cohort to share their experiences to allow improvements for the programme in 2015.

“In two years time, the ministry plans to extend the BEES programme in government secondary schools. Hopefully by then, it will be suitable in meeting the demands of the entrepreneurship programme.”

Touching upon BEES and the ‘Business, Art and Technology (BAT)’ subject, the minister said the student capabilities would be evaluated using a School-Based Assessment for Learning (SBAfL).

“With the BEES and BAT programmes including the SBAfL evaluation and several other additional curriculum that will be implemented, the ministry hopes to build a learning atmosphere that will equip students with the proper skill sets needed in the Working world,” the minister said.

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