Brunei: A New Education System

I initially thought that with the commencement of school term this week,  blogs will post about the return of heavy traffic on the roads. However, in reality, some blogs were debating about the new education system being implemented in the country: the SPN 21,  an acronym for Sistem Pendidikan Negara Abad ke-21 or the 21st Century National Education System. The system that will come into force by 2011,  is now being implemented in stages.

Brunei Lifestyle attended a briefing on the new education system and shared with the readers on what it is all about:

- As from this year, secondary classes is now known as Year instead of Form, so Form 1 is Year 7;
– PMB, the Penilaian Menengah Bawah – the public exam for Form 3 will be scrapped as from 2011;
– At the end of Year 8, students who achieved an overall result (academic and extra-curricular activities and projects) of 70% and above will have an option to do their ‘O’-level in four instead of five years;
– Gifted students have the chance to be sent to Singapore to go to specialized schools there to do their ‘O’-levels.
– After Year 10 or 11, students can go to a specialized stream such as Art & Design, Nursing or Vocational;
– Students will be encouraged to develop their creativity and interest;
– Reading will be emphasized as from Year 1.
– There will be no repeaters, subject to the students achieving an 80% and above for their school attendance.

The blogger is of the view that

Some are confident about the system while others said they are not ready as some of the subjects offered in the new system are specialized such as music and design. Others said that promoting the students to proceed to the following year will make the students lazier as they know they will still be promoted.

A local teacher, Cigu Maisarah posted her views on SPN 21: it is either a challenge or a burden.

SPN21 ini memang menyusahkan guru. Sebahagian daripada jumlah peratus daripada jumlah markah yang terkumpul daripada kerja rumah, projek, ujian bagi setiap subjek akan disatukan dengan peratus markah dari peperiksaan akhir tahun.

SPN is a burden to teachers. Apart from calculating the students percentage marks from homework, projects and exams, the overal percentage needs to be calculated for each subject.

However, she is also of the view that

Dengan adanya sistem sedemikian, anak-anak yang cenderung dalam bidang akademik dapat meneruskan ke tahap yang lebih tinggi.

With the new system, students that are academically inclined can further their studies.

Cheng Ho sees the SPN21 as an important milestone for Brunei education system and

is confident that the 21st Century National Education System (SPN21) is the answer for ensuring a better future for the students of Brunei Darussalam as the SPN21 has all the ingredients for preparing the students to meet the new global challenges.

I tend to agree with Cheng Ho as the SPN 21 marks the dawn of a new  era for education in Brunei that allows students to specialise their education after Year 10.  It will also provide the students with a global edge especially in entering the global labour market.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.