Minister of Finance and Economy II, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Amin Liew during a press conference. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The Second Minister of Finance and Economy on Wednesday announced that public and private schools as well as higher educational institutions across the nation will be resuming their lessons online effective March 30.

Speaking during a press conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said the directive includes vocational schools and technical education institutions that are under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA).

“MoFE and MoE have negotiated with Unified National Network (UNN) to increase the capacity of the nation’s fixed broadband in order to enable students to continue their studies online,” he said.

UNN will also be looking into upgrading Brunei’s mobile data including mobile broadband in the near future to effectively carry out this directive, added the minister.

UNN Berakas Exchange with the new UNN logo. Image: Courtesy of UNN

According to a statement released by MoE on Wednesday, students are required to remain at home during these trying times and to actively participate in the online lessons through the web platform of choice of each learning institution.

“Schools will be providing at-home learning packs for students without access to internet. Education through television shows will also be implemented to support the online education initiative,” the statement read.

The ministry in another statement also announced the cancellation of all international qualifications exams that are slated to run this May/June session, due to the unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 virus worldwide.

International qualifications provider Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), in a statement on March 23 said that due to the coronavirus outbreak, “many more countries have decided to extend school closures in May and June”.

“Making it impossible for many of our schools to hold examinations,” the statement read.

“Today, therefore, we have taken the difficult decision not to run our international examinations in the May/June 2020 series in any country,” CAIE added.

Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

In the Bruneian context, these exams include the Brunei Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the Brunei Cambridge General Certificate of Education (BC GCE) ‘O’, ‘AS’ and ‘A’ Levels which was scheduled to begin in April.

MoE has assured the public however that the ministry is currently working with representatives from the CAIE on an alternative platform that will ensure that students’ academic journeys are not disrupted.

For any enquiries, the public may contact the Examinations Department of the Ministry of Education at 2380630 during working hours or email them at exam.dept@moe.gov.bn or jbtpeperiksaan.helpdesks@moe.gov.bn.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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