Educating the young for a sustainable future

LANDFILLS everywhere are rapidly filling up and the environment is increasingly affected in various ways as a result of this. It was stated in the Recycle 123 Handbook produced in 2015 by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) under the Ministry of Development that approximately 400 to 500 tonnes of waste goes to the Sungai Paku landfill daily.

In fact, it has been estimated that by the year 2025, that very landfill will be entirely filled. In the nation, the waste generation is around 1.4 kilogrammes per person per day, comprising 36 per cent food waste, 18 per cent paper and 16 per cent plastic. We are at a point where we know that there’s a problem and have identified the causes of the problem but the question lies in whether we are doing what’s necessary to remedy the problem as much as possible.

One such solution to this problem is recycling, and the nation’s aim is to achieve a recycling rate of 15 per cent by the year 2020. Through recycling, old items that are no longer useful to us can be converted into functional products with a new purpose.

What’s being taught and done in schools?

It’s important for everyone to practice recycling but an important place to begin instilling the habit would be at school while individuals are still young.

In the nation, a good number of schools have started taking steps towards ensuring both staff members and students play their part in going green.

“We have recycling bins placed all around the school, in the canteens and main areas where students congregate at break times.

“These include recycling bins designed by one of our Design and Technology students a few years ago which are made out of recycled wood. The latest bin units have the slogan ‘Don’t Trash Our Future’ which one of our Eco-JIS committee came up with,” said the Environmental Education Coordinator at Jerudong International School (JIS), Yvonne Follows-Smith.

“Our Eco-JIS Committee has also designed and made wire mesh bins which are very light and easy to move into place when we have special events such as Football Funday or Netball Funday. Each tutor group is encouraged to have a paper recycling bin in their classroom, where they earn ‘Green Points’ for their Houses if these bins are in place. Each of our 16 Houses then has its own larger recycling bin for the classroom paper to be sent to before being moved down to the school’s main recycling collection points,” she added.

It’s not as simple as placing the bins there and hoping that individuals in school will put the trash in an organised manner. JIS also actively finds different ways to educate individuals on the importance of the act and ways in which they can contribute. In addition to specific lessons on waste management in Geography, awareness is raised through carrying out beach clean-ups, involvement with Society for Community Outreach & Training’s Green Xchange and activities during its annual Earth Week. The school has also won a four-month recycling initiative by the Green Brunei Eco Drive earlier this year.

“The students are taught to think about waste in a holistic way to help them understand that valuable resources are used to produce items and that waste disposal is not only a waste of these resources, but that it can also have serious impacts on the environment even when waste is disposed of in a responsible manner. Therefore, reusing waste materials is more sustainable. We also give attention to reducing waste in the first place, by avoiding the excessive use of packaging,” said Follows-Smith.

Similar efforts are being made in Maktab Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah (Maktab Duli) by its Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Unit. In addition to encouraging all individuals to separate their trash into three recyclable types, the unit carries out a recycling drive project during each school term where all recyclables are collected from various areas of the campus.

“At the same time, we get them to bring in their recyclables from home too. They’ve learned to separate their trash correctly into the different types of recyclables and we often have student volunteers participating in the drive,” said Maktab Duli’s Head of HSE Unit Armacester Hj Arsad.

“The staff and students are being taught waste management, such as to reduce paper wastage and the importance of practicing the 6Rs (rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle). More awareness on eco-friendly habits is also consistently being raised so as to promote a more sustainable lifestyle for the future,” added the Head of the Green Council at Maktab Duli, Kathrina Murni.

For its part, Daikyo Environmental Recycling Sdn Bhd has provided industrial sized skip bins for certain schools but not all schools as some have abused the use of the bins.

Project Manager James Hung said, “Some other schools recycle on their own without our bins. They just collect the recyclables, segregate it and then put it into plastic bags for us to collect. I think there has been a significant increase in schools doing so in recent years.”

He added,“We do hold some talks but mostly, the schools would organise visits to our recycling yard where we show them what we do to the recyclables and how we segregate and export it. We show them the possibility of these materials being placed next to their houses as the landfill is running out of space.”

Importance of developing and instilling the habit

Kathrina Murni said that the habit of recycling is important because the existence of our species, the plants and animals depends on this. “Promoting sustainable development should be a top priority and should be a life goal for individuals of all ages. These are habits that we as individuals can actually fulfill because these are merely simple selfless acts,” she said.

For Follows-Smith, it’s getting students to understand the impact first.

“If students can understand the impact poor waste management is having on our planet and the implications of this for future generations, then not only will they be encouraged to act responsibly, but they are also more likely to spread the message and try and influence their relatives and friends outside school to also act responsibly,” said Follows-Smith.

“On the whole, I would say that the students have a good level of awareness and appreciate the need to recycle. It’s good to see that students are now much better about separating waste items correctly so recycling bins are being used properly. Some students are extremely motivated and are good role models for their peers. However, there is always room for improvement,” she added.

Making it a norm and a part of their lives, said Hung, will be the way to go. He added that when we were young, teachers used to bring us out to brush our teeth so that we could learn and the same could be done with recycling.

“I hope everyone, starting from young or old, can get a habit to recycle, even if it’s a small amount because when they do that, it keeps their homes and neighbours clean and eventually leading to the entire being clean,” he said. Every single effort counts and the things that are done on an individual level can make a great difference in the long run.


JIS students achieve outstanding IB results

THE International Baccalaureate (IB) students of Jerudong International School (JIS) have once again achieved outstanding results in their recent examinations.

The students obtained a superb average point of 37.2, well above the world average of 30.1, with 44 per cent of the JIS students achieving 40 points or more (150,000 students from 136 countries completed the IB Diploma worldwide this year). To place these results into context, the very best universities in the world such as Cambridge University typically ask for 40 points and above and the best British medical schools would require a point score in the region of 36-38 points.

JIS Principal, Barnaby Sandow proudly commented, “As a school, JIS continues to emphasise academic results are crucial, but we aim to produce well rounded, confident global citizens. The IB students have been hugely committed to their studies, but have also been fully involved in school and community life. This has included representing the school on the sports field, supporting local and international charities, performing musically and theatrically.

“In addition, the majority have completed the International Gold Award or the Borneo Project. Significantly, the IB students have undertaken key leadership and mentoring roles within the school. I am extremely proud to see our students can balance strong academic performance with a vast range of extracurricular activities. Indeed, this is something we encourage in all our students and is valued by prospective universities.”

JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow in a group photo with the students. – JIS

JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow in a group photo with the students. – JIS

Exceptional individual achievements were obtained by Prajna Soni (43 points) and Joseph Sleiman (42 points). Prajna will be going to New York University (Abu Dhabi) which has awarded her a significant scholarship. Joseph will be studying in Delft University, Holland. Bruneian students Marina Isa-Kalebic and Phoebe Ten both obtained 41 points and will be studying in the UK. Thin Kyi Naing achieved 41 points and will be studying medicine at Nottingham University, UK. Siang Jin Law, who achieved 42 points, will be studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and Law at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. Another Bruneian, Elisha bin Markus, achieved 40 points as did Kate Brien. They will be studying in Singapore and Australia respectively.

The other IB students will be continuing their education in high ranking universities in Canada, Denmark, Germany, and the United States of America.

Borneo Bulletin | August 06, 2016

JIS Summer Camp 2016 gets good feedback

FOR the first time in Brunei, Jerudong International School (JIS) is bringing in the JIS Summer Camp 2016, inviting children aged between eight to 18 years of age to participate in various camp activities from July 20 until August 16 for those within the country, as well as internationally, in partnership with OneSport Media.

The camp began on July 20 with guest celebrity coaches – James Goddard, a former UK three-time Olympic swimming finalist, and Rachael Downie, UK based TV Sports Journalist, until July 26, which was later taken over by Allan Smart, a former English Premier League player, and Daniel Coombs, International Great Britain swimmer and medalist.

The Bulletin had the opportunity to interview Allan Smart and Daniel Coombs yesterday during the football and swimming sessions of the camp.

Coombs, who swam in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and British Champion in the 200m Freestyle Champions 2007, explained that they started One Sport Media in Thailand last year which went on for about a week where he taught swimming lessons, and a year later, One Sport Media has currently arranged two running Summer Camps which is on-going in Thailand and one in the Sultanate.

The Summer Camp has been receiving good feedback so far in Brunei, with children coming in from Thailand, China, America, India, UK and New Zealand, bringing in diverse languages and children.

ABOVE & BELOW: Children participating in various camp activities offered during the JIS Summer Camp 2016. – PHOTOS: DEAN KASSIM

ABOVE & BELOW: Children participating in various camp activities offered during the JIS Summer Camp 2016. – PHOTOS: DEAN KASSIM

“I’ve had the kids who weren’t able to swim, so I’ve seen them from not wanting to get into the water to actually being able to swim a little bit in the pool, so it’s great for these guys as well because they’re enjoying it,” said Coombs.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Allan Smart, he explained that the children will have some football work and swimming work during their sessions, in addition to group exercises to work on communication, confidence building and football, to help develop the children’s abilities and making them a little better than how they were when they first arrived through giving ideas on what to practise and how to practise.

In terms of how the Summer Camp will be able to help Brunei, Smart said that the biggest factor is that it is attracting people from different areas, where it’s also good for the school as it will get better and bigger in the future, as the children are able to learn so many different skills from football and swimming to reporting and public speaking.

JIS Summer Camp is an English speaking camp which helps children develop self-confidence, leadership and communication skills through a wide variety of activities, with an added bonus of having children coached by former international footballers and coaches or swim while being coached by a former Olympic athlete.

Borneo Bulletin | Izah Azahari | August 05, 2016

JIS hosts summer sports school

JERUDONG International School (JIS) have recently started a summer sports school programme which has attracted parents from overseas to bring their children to Brunei.

According to JIS, the programme could benefit the country in a way that it promotes Brunei as a travel destination and thus helps the nation’s tourism industry.

Operating as a partnership between OneSportMedia a company based in Bangkok, Thailand and JIS, OneSportMedia is providing a number of celebrity coaches and other qualified staff along with the camp format and organisation, whilst JIS has provided its outstanding facilities, including boarding for overseas guests.

The first camp began on Wednesday last week with almost 30 participants aged between eight to 16 years old. The guest coaches for Camp 1 and 2 include swimmer James Goddard, who represented the UK in three different Olympic Games as well as achieving Gold Medals in Commonwealth Games; and Rachel Downie, a British TV presenter and journalist. JIS and OneSportMedia have been delighted to see a number of children flying in from China and also Turkey to attend the Summer Sports Camp.

Some of the summer sports school participants in a group photo with the guest coaches

Some of the summer sports school participants in a group photo with the guest coaches

Among the activities conducted during the programme. – PHOTOS: AZARAIMY HH

Among the activities conducted during the programme. – PHOTOS: AZARAIMY HH

JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow said, “I am delighted that our wonderful facilities can be used during the holidays to develop children’s sporting abilities in particular. A number of parents of children from overseas have accompanied them in travelling to Brunei and we hope that in the future this is something we can build upon so that parents can enjoy this beautiful country whilst their children are in the safe and secure setting of JIS, having a fabulous time with the guest celebrity coaches.” Royal Brunei Airlines have also shown a keen and supportive interest on the programme, JIS stated.

Camps 3 and 4, slated for August 3-16, will have former premier league footballer, Allan Smart. Allan Smart is regarded as one of the best youth coaches in the game and comes highly recommended by former Manchester United manager, David Moyes.

OneSportsMedia’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kevin Tarrant added, “We have taken the students out of their comfort zones and they have responded incredibly well. We are teaching the values of teamwork and setting them a number of challenges. By bringing former professional athletes to coach on the camps, we help to show the students that if they set targets and work hard their goals are achievable. Brunei itself and JIS are fantastic venues to hold the sports camp with student coming from all over the world to a world class venue we believe that over a number of years this could grow to be something truly incredible.”

Students aged between eight to 16 years who are still interested in joining Camps 3 and 4 as day or boarding students are welcome to contact JIS or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Borneo Bulletin | Azaraimy HH | July 26, 2016

‘JIS summer camp has tourism potential’

THE Jerudong International School’s (JIS) Summer Sports Camp, a pilot project between the school and OneSportMedia has managed to attract participants from overseas highlighting the potential of summer camps as a product for educational tourism in the sultanate.

Speaking to the media, JIS spokesperson who would like to be known as Anne said 50 participants have registered for the summer camp, which commenced on July 20 recently.

She added that out of the 50, eight participants are overseas youths who flew in to Brunei from countries such as China, Thailand and Turkey.

“A large number of our participants are actually international as they are students from JIS, however we have a few Bruneian students, some from our school and some from the International School Brunei,” she said.

Although the number of overseas participants is not large, only making up about 16 per cent of the overall participants, Anne said it has the potential to increase tourism volume in the sultanate if done at “a bigger scale.”

“When our participants from China came to Brunei, their parents came with them and stayed at the Empire Hotel to settle them (their kids) in for a couple of days while also exploring the country before flying back,” said Anne.

Campers who live in the school’s boarding house for the duration of the camp are also brought outside of the school to visit a number of places within the country in order for them to be able to experience the sultanate fully.

“This is why we are keen to work with Brunei’s Tourism Development Department, because although this camp benefits the school, if it is done on a bigger scale there is large potential that the summer camp can also promote Brunei as a country,” she said.

Anne went on to say that if the summer camp goes well this year, they might consider conducting future summer camps with the aid of travel agents as well as Royal Brunei Airlines in terms of promotion and marketing.

According to a statement issued by JIS, the Summer Sports Camp is divided into four camps, with a different camp each week featuring sports celebrities and professionals who act as guest coaches for the camp participants.

Among these professionals is James Goddard, a professional swimmer who represented the UK in three different Olympic Games and achieved gold medals in the Commonwealth Games.

Other guest coaches include Rachael Downie a British TV presenter and journalist, Allan Smart, former premier league footballer and Daniel Coombs, a former UK Commonwealth swimmer residing here in Brunei.

CEO of OneSportMedia, Kevin Tarrant said that bringing former professional athletes to coach the camps help show the participating youths the merit of setting their goals and working hard.

“Brunei and JIS are fantastic venues to hold the sports camp and with students coming from all over the world, we believe that over a number of years this could grow to be something incredible,” he said.

The summer camp will be ongoing until August 16 and students who are interested to participate in the remaining camps can contact the school at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Brunei Times | Wail Wardi Wasil | Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | BRUNEI-MUARA