Brunei

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Overview

Brunei, officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and in fact it is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak. Brunei has an estimated population of 408,000 and its capital is Bandar Seri Begawan. Brunei, the remnant of a very powerful sultanate, regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984 and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. During the early-20th century, the Southeast Asian nation experienced an economic boom and underwent rapid development. Economic growth during the 1970s and 1990s, averaging 56% from 1999 to 2008, has transformed Brunei Darussalam into a newly industrialised country. Brunei has one of the world's fastest growing Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity. Brunei has the highest Human Development Index among the South East Asia nations.

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Brunei.

Education in Brunei

For a general description of education in Brunei see Education:Brunei.


e-learning

For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Brunei.


The Ministry of Education through the Government has spent a total of B$20.7 million in the implementation of ICT initiatives. Today, almost all Government primary and secondary schools are equipped with computer hardware, software resources, ICT competency training for teachers and administrators and training courses for teachers and officers in the integration of ICT across the school curriculum. Soon, all schools will be connected to the Internet and the World Wide Web. (2)

In 2010, the government of Brunei Darussalam announced a major roadmap for the development of ICT in education: the e-Hijrah Blueprint. This concept is intended to drive change within the country’s education system over the next six years. The Blueprint includes no less than 43 separate initiatives, adding up to an ambitious list of actions, programs and projects to support the transformation of education in Brunei Darussalam through ICT. (2)

The Ministry of Education of Brunei established the “e-Education Flagship” project which was signed on January 26, 2008. An e-Learning Systems project was introduced that would allow universities and colleges to start distributing learning materials electronically. Among the main objectives of the e-Learning Project was delivery of the benefits of using internet technologies to enhance learning and teaching. Its outcomes included strategic studies on e-learning in the Ministry of Education, implementation of a Learning Management System, instructional design facility, provision of authoring tools, notebooks and digital contents. In the strategic study report, over 1,000 educators and administrators in the Brunei higher education institutes were interviewed resulting in recommendations to adopt ICT Common Standards and Tools, to expand connectivity and optimize existing infrastructure, to build awareness of ICT in education, to implement best practices for ICT in education, and to provide incentives. (2)

By 2009, UBD was launching a new e-learning system called the Automated Lecture Capture and Publishing System (ALCAPS) that facilitated the recording of lecture sessions, making it easy for students to review them by logging onto the Ministry of Education (MoE) website. The Universiti Brunei Darussalam remains committed to improving the user of ICT in Brunei’s education system with the UBD STRATEGIC PLAN 2006–2015 requiring an investment in the development of ICT infrastructure and information systems. The Strategic Plan stipulates the need to have a comprehensive policy on the development of an e-campus, managerial organization to manage the technologies, and to develop a work culture utilizing ICT in teaching, learning, research, administration and management. (2)

The Developing Innovative Online Teaching-Learning Materials programme was announced at the end of 2010 (for 2011-2012) to initiate a pilot project to train teachers in using e-learning for developing innovative, multimedia learning materials in classrooms. The pilot, dubbed "Seameo Voctech E-Learning Academy", will train 21 teachers from technical institutions, primary and secondary schools. An aim of the project is for students also to become "ICT-enabled", so they can use the Internet not just for social networking and gaming, but most importantly, for learning. Seameo Voctech, the Department of Technical Education and the Ministry of Education (MoE) planned the training programme together. If the pilot proves successful, the programmed will be extended. (2)

Quality procedures

Internet in Brunei

Broadband Internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants (2008) - 3.56

Internet hosts (2010) - 50,997

Internet users (June 2010 InternetWorldStats) - 319,000

Internet users per 100 inhabitants (2010) - 80.76

Computers per 100 inhabitants (2005) - 8.92

By South-east Asian standards, Brunei Darussalam has a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure. In 2009, Internet penetration was estimated at 46% of households. In addition, 85% of Internet subscribers in Brunei Darussalam have high-speed broadband. The country’s telecommunication links with the rest of the world are also exceptional by regional standards. In 2010, the government launched the Asia-American Gateway (AAG), a high-bandwidth, underwater cable system. The AAG connects Brunei Darussalam and six other countries with the US at 1.92 Tera bits per second. The Brunei Darussalam telecommunications infrastructure would therefore seem suited to the future expansion of e-learning within the Sultanate. The government has allocated about $950 million for the e-Government initiative under the 8th National Development Plan for ministries and government departments. (2)

Internet in Education

Copyright law in Brunei

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Brunei

In spite of the universally accepted potential benefits of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system, education delivery in Brunei Darussalam is still based on entirely, on a formal conventional system of education. This is attributed to its smallness in terms geographical area whereby all points in and around the country are accessible, and that education could be provided and delivered through conventional method. Despite the absence of any substantive plan to adopt this system of education delivery, Brunei Darussalam nonetheless, acknowledges the benefits of ODL, particularly, in relation to widening access in education; its flexibility and versatility in fulfilling constant re-training, ‘re-skilling’ and up-grading requirements in an ever changing society and market economy; including its perceived cost-effectiveness and lesser cost features. BDNAC has only just begun to consider how to ensure that the quality of ODL courses (mostly provided by foreign providers in collaboration with private agencies) meets their quality assurance requirements. (2)

The ICDE report on regulatory frameworks for distance education (1) could find no legislation or policies in support of OER in Brunei. The same report suggests that higher Education in Brunei is likely to be transformed over the next few years as a result of the introduction of mass tertiary education (a target increase in student enrollment from 13.8% (2009) of the total student population to a target of 30% in 2014). As part of this, the Brunei government intends to create multiple pathways that will allow more young adults to progress from secondary to higher education. For many years, there has been substantial unmet demand for higher education due to insufficient places in public tertiary institutions and the lack of private providers. The Brunei government has already taken steps to increase the number of university places and private providers, and hopes to encourage additional foreign higher education providers to enter the local market. Although the ICDE report does not discuss OERs in relation to Brunei directly, it might be thought that OERs have the potential to help meet Brunei's goals in increasing access to higher education.

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

References

2. ICDE Country Profile for Brunei (http://www.icde.org/projects/regulatory_frameworks_for_distance_education/country_profiles/brunei/)

Reports

1. ICDE Report: 'Regulatory frameworks for distance education: A pilot study in the Southwest Pacific/South East Asia region - Final report'. December 2011. Prepared by the Project Team (Team leader, Dr. Rosalind James) (accessed at http://www.icde.org/filestore/Regulatory_Framework/RegulatoryFrameworksforDEfinalreport2.pdf on Monday 9th July 2012)


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