I’m Atikah and I am currently enrolled in Universiti Brunei Darussalam, majoring in Health Science (Nursing). In 2017, I co-founded a youth movement in my area of interest, namely ‘Alert on Disaster Awareness – ADA’. Through this youth movement, together with a group of motivated youths, we intend to increase awareness on Disaster Risk Reduction in ASEAN among the locals in Brunei. Coming from a science background since my secondary years and majoring in health science currently, I can see how STEM education is useful for the growth of my country. Despite the importance of STEM for the country’s growth, there seems to be a lacking in the system, seeing that the country still heavily rely on expatriates for STEM-related employments.
STEM SKILL GAPS IN BRUNEI
Abstract: More than 60 percent of Brunei’s economic activities is linked to the oil and gas industry. Hence, STEM education for the locals is necessary in order to produce relevant, highly skilled professionals that can sustain the nation’s economic growth in the future. Brunei Vision 2035 seeks to diversify the economy, and to do that the government hopes for well-educated, largely English-speaking population and excellent infrastructure that can attract foreign investment to other industries, such as information technology and halal manufacturing. Even with other industries that are not oil and gas-related, STEM education is still crucial to develop these industries.
In Brunei, STEM education is available from primary school level up to the tertiary level. Reviewing the progress of education in Brunei from the past five years or so, Technical and Vocational Education Institution has been revised and upgraded to meet the current global standards and to achieve the aim of producing a highly skilled and professional workforce. Exchange programs and scholarships for local students are also available in many different institutions in order for the locals to learn more from other countries STEM education and training to fill the gap in terms of knowledge and experience.