Brunei Darussalam Country Paper
Education Scenarios and Post-EFA Education
Agenda in Southeast Asia
A nation with a small population – Less than half
Dependent on a non-renewable resource for growth
and stability.
Challenges always emerging. MOE BD continues to
review and fine-tune its education system and
management ensuring that it remains relevant at all
times and support the nation’s drive to realise Brunei
Vision 2035 (Wawasan Brunei 2035).
“By 2035, Brunei Darussalam as a nation is to be
recognised ‘for the accomplishment of its educated and
highly skilled people as measured by the highest
international standards; quality of life that is among the
top 10 nations in the world; and a dynamic and
sustainable economy with income per capita within the
top 10 countries in the world’.
To realise this goals - new education system known as
the “National Education System for the 21st Century”,
in short SPN21 (Sistem Pendidikan Negara Abad ke-21).
The SPN21 commenced in January 2009
Three main changes to ensure that the Brunei
education system stays relevant at all times and
brings about high quality education.
Education Structure
 Curriculum and Assessment
 Technical Education
Achievement 1 : Universalization of Primary
Education (EFA2)
BD continues to make great strides in education
Boys and girls net enrolment ratio in primary education was
more than 96.0 per cent
Survival rate is about 99.0 per cent.
Primary education completion rate is another mark of
successful MDG achievement Brunei Darussalam have been
more than 100 per cent since 2004.
Such achievements are made possible due to these attributing
the country’s long-term education policy.
high-quality human capital formation.
provision of good educational infrastructure and teaching
EFA 5 : Gender Parity and Equality
The net enrolment in primary education over the last five
years remains above 95.0 per cent and the survival rate has
Net enrolment at secondary and tertiary levels also showed a
positive trend .
The employed female labour force steadily increased .
BD has achieved gender parity in primary and secondary education.
At the tertiary level, girls are even doing better than boys.
Decades before the dawn of the new millennium and the MDGs,
Brunei Darussalam had recognised that educating a boy benefits
only an individual while educating a girl benefits the whole family
and hence, the society.
Brunei Darussalam has also acceded to the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
on 24th May 2006.
Literacy rate: High and increasing levels
The literacy rate has increased from 69.0 per cent
in 1971 to 80.3 per cent in 1981, further increased to
89.2 per cent in 1991 and 93.7 per cent in 2001.
The literacy rate continued to increase from 95.0
per cent in 2005 to 96.3 per cent in 2010.
Adult literacy rates are very high : 99.60% in 2011.
This has helped to create a more inclusive society as
well as facilitating adaptation to the demands of a
modern world.
1. Mismatch : Education vs Skills needed for job
As the smallest country in terms of population, Brunei has
the highest unemployment rate (10%,est.2001). (World
Fact Book, 2004).
BD MOE is trying to reduce unemployment by matching
the skills provided in education and training with the skills
required by the industry and world of work.
Efforts to improve the image of technical education by
integrating vocational and technical education with general
1. BD now ready to set more ambitious goals which go
beyond MDG achievement at an aggregate level.
2. Nevertheless, major capacity development challenges
remain - capacities which will be required to strengthen
the national data and information base for monitoring
the country’s progress in achieving both the MDGs and
the recently formulated 30 year development
framework: the Wawasan Brunei 2035.
3. It will also need to formulate appropriate and
effective policy measures which promote more broad
based and diversified investment and economic
development opportunities for the country and its
The basic challenge is how to meet two conflicting
requirements: on the one hand the demand for rapid
expansion of the scale of provision and on the other
hand the requirement to improve the quality of
provision. There is a tendency that quality is not
adequately addressed (being sacrificed) due to the
fast expansion of learning opportunity.
Shift in focus from quantity to quality and equity by
investing in infrastructural development, teacher
training, faculty and curriculum development.
Priority 1. Early Childhood Care and Education (EFA 1)
Investing in ECCE under Brunei Vision 2035.
Developing an effective ECCE framework as strategic
objectives under the Ministry of Education’s Strategic Plan
2012 – 2017.
 has continuously conducting capacity building programs
 has made effort to improve access and provisions of ECCE
services in both urban and rural schools; improve and strengthen
ECCE infrastructure as well as strengthen Inter-agency
 is currently conducting a feasibility study on the need for early
childhood and care education specifically to cater for children
below the age of five;
MOE is currently restructuring and transforming the TVET
to make the TVET system more effective in managing
human resources (“employability skills” )
The provisions of multiple entries to TVE and multiple
pathways to higher education that is comparable and
similar to other international systems.
new programmes aligned with the needs of the
industries and employment market demands;
an increase in operational budget;
industrially experiences
industrial attachment.
recruitment of more industrial practitioners into TVET.
Brunei has shortage of teachers both in number and quality and
Teaching is not an attractive profession.
MOE continues to invest its teaching force by providing
teachers with the opportunity to upgrade their pedagogical
competencies to increase students’ learning outcomes.
Providing and strengthening the leadership skills as well as
teachers professional and development programmes either
locally or abroad.
MOE is currently developing the Brunei Teachers’ Standards
(BTS) which will hope to improve the quality of primary and
secondary education including technical education and to
ensure that all teachers are fully certified and qualified to
teach in government and non-government schools and higher
Challenges 1 : SPN 21 - Beyond MDG2
Having achieved universal primary education, Brunei Darussalam
has recognised that the way forward is to raise the level of
literacy beyond the UNESCO’s definition that is “who can read
and write with understanding a short simple statement related
to everyday life”. By raising the level of literacy, it proposes to
enhance the nation’s skills, develop a more responsive and stable
economy and provide employment opportunities for all.
The country is in a consolidation phase wherein it has to
consolidate its achievements, sustain them and raise their levels
to new heights to cope with the new millennium imperatives. The
Government has formulated various policy responses in line with
its National Vision – Wawasan Brunei 2035.
BD has a shortage of teachers both in number and quality. Improving
quality of education is really one of the big challenges faced by BD
Several measures have been undertaken :
Since 2012, more than 80% of teachers in secondary have obtained at
least first degree qualifications.
School Leadership Programme for all school leaders and administrators
which would help them transforming the schools settings to support
high quality teaching and learning for all students.
The new teachers’ salary scheme incentive known as the Teachers
Service Scheme (SPG - Skim Perkhidmatan Guru), introduced in 2008
aims at expanding the capacity of teachers, to keep good performing
teachers in schools, making them to feel highly valued and teaching as a
prestigious career.
The Ministry also continuously providing professional development
programmes for teachers.
Having a small population size does not preclude
having high human development and robust
economic development.
Economic diversification requires continuous
reassessment of policy direction and the human
development required to support it

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