Apathy, ignorance causing pollution

Volunteers picking up trash which are often used for recreational purposes such as barbeques or picnics. Picture: BT/Koo Jin Shen

Collection of garbage by volunteers from the 2012 International Coastal Cleanup at Tungku Beach. Brunei's participation is organised by the Beach Bunch, a local eco-group, and participated by educational institutions and other organisations. Picture: BT/Koo Jin Shen

Monday, September 17, 2012

APATHY, lack of awareness as well as a lack of trash bins in Tungku beach were blamed for dozens of fully filled trash bags collected by volunteers during the International Coastal Cleanup campaign organised by the Beach Bunch recently.

About a 100 over volunteers from several educational institutions and other organisations took part in the clean up campaign held in Tungku beach alongside with a handful more in Seri Kenangan beach in Tutong and the Sungai Liang beach in Belait last Saturday.

The Brunei Times interviewed participants as well as site coordinators to discuss the extent of the problems of polluted beaches in Brunei.

Nazihah Sharip, 18 and a group of Jerudong International students wandered into a semi-secluded spot along the Tungku beach coastline, hidden from sight by tall grass and trees.

Instead of a beautiful pristine, untouched environment, Nazihah and her friends discovered a trash haven. After an hour and half-a-dozen black garbage bags later, the volunteers peeled away everything from styrofoam containers and cups to plastic bags and food wrappers from the greenery.

"It's very dirty," she said bluntly when asked to describe the area. She also believed that because the spot was hidden, people were inclined to throw their rubbish in the area.

She and her friends also said that people litter on the beaches because they believed "nobody is going to care," whereas some people have the mindset that "they are never going to see it again" after they have thrown away their rubbish.

"They think it's a small thing," she said, noting that they may be unaware or have forgotten that polluting beaches have an impact on the environment.

Afiqah Hamir, 17, said that seeing part of the beach in such a condition was shameful, "Brunei has some really nice beaches," she said, noting it was something great about the country. However, the sight of rubbish littering the beaches was something that was off-putting, remarking that if they were kept cleaner, she and her friends would probably frequent the beaches more.

She also believed that people littered as a matter of convenience, due to the absence of trash bins in the area, people would just leave their trash where it is instead of making a walk some distance away to dispose of it. "It's like they think it's going to magically disappear," she said.

Wan Nurul Naszeerh, 22, a volunteer taking part that day was also upset about the amount of non-degradable trash she and her friend had collected throughout the day.

"Bruneians should know better," she said, making reference to wet-wipes used for sanitary care.

Unlike tissue paper, she said, wet-wipes are not biodegradable, also noting that they had picked up other pieces of trash such as styrofoam and plastics.

"Styrofoam does not degrade; it breaks down into little pieces," she said, which is both harmful to wildlife and may eventually end up back to humans. She stressed that something had to be done, "JASTRE (Department of Parks, Recreation and Environment) needs to do something," she said, remarking that more rubbish bins could be provided.

The Brunei Times

JIS Reception Class visit Soriso Restaurant

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

On Wednesday, 12th September, 38 children from the Reception Classes at Jerudong International School went to Soriso Restaurant in Regent Square, Kuilap to meet Chef Salvatore and his wonderful staff. The children who are all aged four and five years were very excited to be going on a school trip!

This fun filled event was to introduce the new topic of “Let’s Pretend” to the children. In the next few weeks they will be learning all about how to be a chef, where food comes from, healthy eating and the topic will culminate in a tea party to which Chef Salvatore has already been invited.

The children had a wonderful time learning how to make pizza, how to roll out the dough and how to throw it through the air like a true Italian.

The staff were available to help the children who ended up covered from head to foot in flour! Everyone left with tummies full of delicious pizza though having learnt many valuable lessons.

At Jerudong International School, great emphasis is placed not only on what can be learnt in a classroom setting but also the great educational value that can be gained from school trips such as this, enabling children to learn through memorable experiences. The staff at JIS are very grateful to local businesses such as Soriso Restaurant who assist us in providing the children with a new learning environment.

JIS appoints new student heads

New Head Girl and Head Boy

The newly-appointed head boy, Sum Yi Ren and head girl, Izazi Zaini in a group photo.

The Principal of Jerudong International School (JIS), Andrew Fowler-Watt has announced the appointment of two outstanding Bruneian students to the position of head boy and head girl for the academic year of August 2012 - July 2013.

Sum Yi Ren, the new head boy, is presently taking the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme at JIS. He has an outstanding academic record, achieving 5As in PSR, 7A1 and 1A2 in PMB and last August for his GCSEs, he gained 9A* and 1A. He hopes to study Aeronautical Engineering at the university. A keen environmentalist, Yi Ren is very involved with the JIS Eco-Committee. He recently represented Brunei at the APEC Future Scientist Conference in Semarang, Indonesia and also presented a closing speech at Brunei+20: Youth Seminar for Sustainable Development. Yi Ren is also a keen basketball player and a pianist, and has recently achieved a Silver International Award.

On the other hand, Izazi Zaini, the new head girl, started at JIS in August 2011, having been selected for the Ministry of Education Scholarship programme. She previously studied at Maktab Sains, where she took Geography, Maths and Physics for A Levels. Upon arrival at JIS, she opted to join the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme, studying six subjects. Izazi, like Yi Ren, is a keen environmentalist, as she is also involved in the JIS Eco Committee and hoping to one day become an Environmental Geography Educator. Izazi has participated in a number of marathons, including the SCB, HSBC and Climbathon events. She has volunteered for a number of charity events including for Pusat Ehsan and Special Olympics. Izazi also found time to direct a play during the recent JIS Shakespeare Festival.

Within JIS, the head boy and head girl have a clear leadership role for all students throughout the school - to set a good example, encourage other students to work hard in their academic studies, and enhance their education by developing other interests including sports, arts and community service.

Borneo Bulletin Friday 7th September 2012

Strong business sector support for JA pilot project

Azaraimy HH


BEDB Chairman in group photo with Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office Dato Paduka Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Linda Rimer, CEO of Asia Pacific Regon of JA Worldwide, JIS principal and students, UEM Builders Bhd and others during the launch of JA pilot project
Dato Paduka Haji Ali bin Haji Apong presenting a JA programme kit to a student

Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) Chief Executive Officer Vincent Cheong yesterday lauded the support by the local business community towards the Junior Achievement (JA) pilot project.

He said, in addition to BEDB, BAG Networks, Baiduri Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank have pledged their support to the initiative. All these organisations will be led by their CEOs and senior management team members to be volunteer JA programme teachers at the participating schools in the next six months.

The JA programme was founded in 1919 in USA, and in Asia Pacific alone it covers 23 countries. It is a programme that teaches young students entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-related skills. In Brunei, it will be run as an after-school activity.

The unique element of the programme is that it involves volunteers from the junior management-level to the CEO of a company, bringing with them vast and real-life experiences to be shared with students.

The programme was launched yesterday at Jerudong International School (JIS), the first school to implement the programme as the school starts its new academic year in September.

It will then be implemented next year at government schools such as at Anggerek Desa Primary School, which will include students from Amar Pahlawan, Pulaie, Delima Satu and Mabohai Primary Schools.

It will also involve Sultan Jamalul Alam Secondary School, which will include students from Menglait, Science College, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien and STPRI secondary schools, and Rimba II Secondary School.

JIS Principal Andrew Fowler-Watt at the launching of the pilot project yesterday said, JIS is delighted to be able to contribute towards the setting-up of JA in Brunei, along with UEM Builders Corporate Citizenship Programme.

He said one of the major virtues of JA programme is that it requires a close and ongoing partnership between schools and the business community.

"So on behalf of the young people who will benefit so much, I am extremely grateful to all those representatives from businesses around Brunei who are here today and who are voluntarily lending their own and their companies' support to the Junior Achievement Programme. Without your generosity and enthusiasm, it would not be possible to launch the programme, and I hope very much that you and your colleagues find your involvement in the project both rewarding and enjoyable," he said.

Early awareness of things like financial literacy, basic economics and the skills required to start up one's own business is valuable for all young people, whatever they want to do in life, he added.

Teachers must not forget that, and must endeavour to teach children to think for themselves; to be confident enough to lead the way and innovate rather than wait to follow behind others; and to understand the difference between calculated risk and foolhardy speculation.

He said, those sorts of skills can only partially be taught in textbooks and within a classroom setting there need to be practical opportunities for young people to try out things for themselves and experiment, but within a safe and nurturing environment.

New breeding ground for nation's future entrepreneurs

The Brunei Economic Development Board's (BEDB) deputy CEO, Dr Abdul Manaf Hj Metussin (2nd R), and Linda Rimer (2nd L), the president and CEO for Junior Achievement Worldwide (Asia Pacific Region), sign documents during the launch of the JA Brunei Pilot Project yesterday at Jerudong International School. Picture: Courtesy of the BEDB

Sunday, September 2, 2012

THE Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) yesterday signed a collaborative agreement with Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide to launch a pilot entrepreneurship education programme in Brunei.

The JA Pilot Project is designed to inspire and prepare students to succeed in the global economy, utilising hands-on curriculum delivered by the programme volunteers which focuses on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness skills.

The agreement was signed between the BEDB's Youth Development Resources, represented by its chairman, BEDB Deputy CEO Dr Abdul Manaf Hj Metussin, and Linda Rimer, president and CEO for Asia Pacific Region of JA Worldwide.

Present as the guest of honour of the launch was Dato Paduka Hj Ali Apong, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Chairman of the BEDB.

In his welcoming remarks, BEDB CEO Vincent Cheong said the collaboration with JA Worldwide is intended to enhance the financial literacy and impart entrepreneurial skills to youths in our schools.

"We hope that through JA programmes, we can cultivate a generation of enterprising and innovative youth talents willing to explore starting up their own businesses as a career option when they grow up," he said.

The CEO said that the launch of the pilot project marked a significant milestone in the BEDB's efforts to promote entrepreneurship and encourage startups in the Sultanate.

"In the longer term, we are confident that there will be a pipeline for new startups nurtured by BEDB's iCentre, Creative Arts Facilities (CRAFT) and other incubators, and be eligible for various financial assistance schemes offered by the Brunei Government such as BEDB's Local Enterprise Applications and Products (LEAP) grant scheme for prototype funding and DST/BEDB/AITI's Future Fund for venture capital investment into early stage startup businesses, among others," he added.

The Pilot Project will offer three specific JA programmes: JA More than Money for ages seven to 11, JA Economics for Success for ages 10 to 14, and JA Company Programme for ages 15 and 18.

Jerudong International School (JIS), which has partially sponsored the pilot project, will be the first to launch JA Programmes as an after-school activity in their new academic year this month, utilising their facilities for the training workshops beginning Monday. Also sponsoring for the pilot project was UEM Builders Corporate Citizenship Programme.

The project received approval from the Ministry of Education. Beginning the next academic year 2013, the ministry will launch the programme at three sites involving 11 government schools.

Upon the success of the pilot project, the BEDB will apply Brunei to JA Worldwide as International Member and setup 'JA Brunei' with dedicated resources to expand the programme with the support of corporate sponsors.

Cheong also lauded the support of the local business community towards the pilot project.

"So far, in addition to the BEDB, we have more than 80 volunteers from BAG Networks, Baiduri Bank, HSBC and the Standard Chartered Bank," he said.

The CEO said that all these organisations will be led by their CEOs and senior management team members to be volunteer JA programme teachers at the participating schools in the next six months.

"For this initiative to be successful, we require the support of both the public and the private sectors not only for volunteers to participate in and deliver the programmes, but also on financial sponsorship to sustain and expand this initiative to cover more schools and introduce more programmes," he added.

Founded in 1919, JA is a US-based non-profit youth organisation with operations in over 120 countries.

The organisation is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers to deliver experiential programmes to students.

The Brunei Times