THE Ministry of Education (MoE) thanks Warga Emas Brunei TVE for the letter ’Bring back old BDTVEC programme’ published in the Weekend Bulletin on February 9, 2019.
Policymakers, administrators and educators in various fields of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) have all agreed that TVET plays an important role in the economic and social development of a nation.
TVET in Brunei Darussalam has been established for more than 40 odd years since the early 1970s.
One of the many milestones of TVET development in the country was the establishment of Brunei Darussalam Technical and Vocational Education Council (BDTVEC) in May 1991 which acts as the national awarding body for technical and vocational qualifications in Brunei Darussalam.
The very first intake of students was in 1992 and the first BDTVEC awards was conferred in November 1996. Throughout its 26 years of establishment 44,962 students have registered for various BDTVEC programmes (from which 38,670 students were awarded ie 86 per cent graduates throughout the establishment of BDTVEC).
In 1993, the Department of Technical Education (DTE) under the MoE was established which was mandated to plan, coordinate and evaluate the implementation of TVET programmes in addressing socio-economic demands of Brunei Darussalam and to support and promote the development of human resources through the provision of TVET services to students, government and private sector.
The TVET system under the DTE (a government department), was no longer relevant and not likely able to respond to the needs in a modern and globally competitive society. The TVET system did not allow sufficient autonomy and flexibility to enable DTE and vocational and technical institutions (VTIs) to respond speedily and effectively.
There was also the need for skills development in Brunei Darussalam to meet the requirements of the industry and community at large.
Thus, a transformation plan in 2013 was crucial and seriously and urgently considered to ensure that labour market priorities were identified along with the initiative to rebrand the VTIs as equally preferable institutions for post-secondary education in the country.
During the Israk Mikraj Celebration for 1435H/2014 His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam approved the Brunei Institute of Technical Education Order 2013, the Technical and Vocational Education Transformation White Paper as well as the Brunei Darussalam Technical Education Upgrading Plan 2013 – 2018 where through this transformation, students will acquire knowledge, skills and other values for conducive lifelong learning.
The new TVET system replacing DTE, called Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), an autonomous post-secondary educational institution is expected to stay relevant so that in the long run, the system can help overcome the many challenges that TVET in the country are facing and bring about a change in mindset about vocational training in the society.
IBTE as a statutory body, with the direction from its Board of Governors (BOG), has the authority to award its own certifications. Under the transformation, BDTVEC programmes offered at IBTE were to be phased out slowly and to be replaced with IBTE qualifications.
Among the certifications offered by IBTE include Higher National Technical Education Certificate (HNTec) which is comparable to BDTVEC Diploma (BDQF Level 4); National Technical Education Certificate (NTec) comparable to Skills Certificate 3 (BDQF Level 3); and Institutional Skills Qualification (ISQ) which is comparable to Skills Certificate 2 (BDQF Level 2).
A multitude of courses are offered across different disciplines namely energy and engineering, aviation, healthcare, information and communication technologies, agrotechnology, hospitality and tourism, building technology and business and financial services.
Towards ensuring that Brunei has the quality human capital it needs to promote economic development and avoid job mismatch, IBTE prepares its graduates with high employability focussing on the delivery of occupational skills, competencies and standards responsive to the needs of the industry and economy.
The measure of success of IBTE are two key performance indicators (KPIs) which are: (i) employment rate and (ii) employers’ satisfaction which are measured annually.
In 2018, the employability rate of IBTE graduates was 74.3 per cent, out of which 64.8 per cent were working in fields relevant to their disciplines. At the same time the satisfaction rate of employers was 85.2 per cent.
IBTE is also aligning itself to National KPIs (NKPI) namely NKPI 1.5 Enrolment to Post-Secondary as well as NKPI 1.6 Graduation rate at higher education (HE) and TVET which are indicators that provide information on enrolment into post-secondary institutions and information on students completion their studies at HE and TVET institutions respectively.
Moreover, in the pursuit of continuous betterment, IBTE also organises After–Action–Review (AAR) with industry partners to assess the IBTE programmes offered, to acknowledge and identify issues and challenges and to identify possible solutions and improvements needed. IBTE is committed and determined to provide the highest quality product and service to its stakeholders and to maintain its reputation as a centre of excellence for skills training. IBTE gained internationally accreditation with ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) which is aimed at enhancing the quality interaction process such as student enrolment, curriculum design and development, teaching and learning and examination assessments.
In IBTE, the role of industry is made participatory as close collaboration between TVET and industry is crucial in enhancing productivity and economic growth. IBTE continuously engages with its industry stakeholders to not only establish current and future demands for graduates but also to develop and review the curriculum to ensure that the competencies and skill sets taught are relevant and adequate to equip students for the world of work.
By working closely with the Manpower Policy and Planning Unit (MPPU), Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI), IBTE programmes also benefitted from a nationally coordinated manpower plan with projection on the skilled manpower needs in the various industry sectors.
Strong linkages with industry are an important step towards building a quality, relevant and sustainable TVET system.
Committed to its promise as a centre of excellence for TVET, IBTE conducts both external and internal audit to ensure efficiency in its operations, review compliance to the administrative regulations and to instil a sense of confidence in management that the organisation is functioning well and is prepared to meet potential challenges.
– Corporate Communications, Corporate Affairs Division, IBTE & Brunei Darussalam Technical and Vocational Education Council (BDTVEC) Secretariat