"The knowledge and expertise that you learn now might not be relevant to the booming technology that is about to transpire," said Hj Ibrahim Hj Abdul Rahman, chairman of the 10th National Convocation for Technical and Vocational Institutions, which saw 187 graduates receiving their certificates and diplomas.
Hj Ibrahim added that with the implementation of the new National Education System for the 21st century (SPN21), the technical and vocational educational institutions will also be going through changes. He stated that the Department of Technical Education at the Ministry of Education have established several educational and training programmes for technical and vocational students that are relevant and needed in Brunei.
"The mission of the department is to create a workforce that is competitive, dynamic and of quality through technical training and education that is aligned with Brunei's aspirations," he said.
Ampuan Nurzaidah Ampuan Ali from Temburong was awarded the Best Student Award at the ceremony. "It was all so last minute, I never expected to get this award. It is very overwhelming and unexpected," said the 19-year-old.
She said that she plans to complete her national diploma and pursue a degree course in computer science at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. She hopes to join Brunei Shell Petroleum one day after completing her studies and aspires to contribute the use of innovative methods with the skills learnt from her course.
Siti Hafizah Abdul Khalid, 21, who graduated with a National Diploma in Science, said that studying overseas is her first choice to pursue a higher education. "Chemical engineering is the course I want to pursue and unfortunately it is not available here," she said.
She said that she would like to be a teacher in technical and vocational education. "The government lacks the human resources (in the technical and vocational area) and I want to contribute my expertise to teach the students one day," she said.
Norhanani Hj Adanan, 24, who also graduated with a National Diploma in Science, plans to submit her application to more than one institute.
"I'm planning to apply for a scholarship to study in Malaysia where there will be subjects relevant to my course but I am also re-applying to Institut Teknologi Brunei," she said, adding that she would like a job that involves being in the laboratory as her course entails her to analyse data.
Hjh Norul Hj Abdul Kadir, 27, who graduated with National Certificate 2 in Painting and Decorating, said that she is not going to continue her studies, but would apply for a government job that is most relevant to her course.
"I would consider private firms but I prefer to work with the government because it promises stability," she said.
Out of the 187 graduates from various technical and vocational education institutions, 50 graduates were awarded the National Diploma, 29 graduates with the National Trade Certificate 2, 85 graduates with the National Trade Certificate 3 and 23 graduates received the National Vocational Certificate.
The Brunei Times