Thursday, January 17, 2013
THE four-day 2013 Civic Course for Bruneian students who are studying overseas, organised by the Information Department under the Prime Minister's Office, came to a close yesterday.
The course discussed information related to the affairs of the country and the government. The course was also designed to inculcate a spirit of patriotism, based on the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy.
Participants discussed the country's national development needs, and were reminded to be wary of teachings that can counter the Islamic faith.
A total of 47 students from universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore attended the course.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Qatriyah Hj Nokman, 20, who is studying medicine in New Zealand, said younger Bruneians were often unfamiliar with Brunei's culture, such as adat istiadat(ceremonial customs).
"The adat istiadat is actually something beautiful that lacks appreciation," Qatriyah said.
Qatriyah said the course discussed Brunei's Vision 2035 and the part they have to play in helping the country to meet its development goals.
The course also discussed the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy.
The philosophy will help the country to develop peacefully, Qatriyah said, adding: "Changes made while developing would lead to positive changes".
Meanwhile, Kevin Goh Tze Hong, 19, said the course had helped him understand that being studious was not enough.
"Before, we concentrated more on passing our examinations, but with the course, we enriched ourselves with other knowledge, especially Brunei's culture and customs," said Goh, who is studying dentistry atOtago University in New Zealand.
Goh said he was eager to promote Brunei to his fellow students in New Zealand.
Mohammad Azlan Hani Mohamad Anzeri, 23, who is taking a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in Sydney, Australia, said he found the course beneficial.
"I learned a lot of new things from this course and I felt so proud to be a Bruneian. Now, I can explain clearly to my foreign friends about my country, its diversity and uniqueness," he said.
Mohammad Azlan said he would act like an unofficial ambassador for the country when he returned to Australia.
The course was organised by the Information Department and the Prime Minister's Office, with collaboration from the Ministry of Education's Bursaries Unit.
Among the topics discussed during the course were the economy, Bruneian identity and the national MIBphilosophy. They also visited the Islamic Da'wah Centre and Pusat Ehsan in Kampung Bengkurong.
The guest of honour at the close of the Civic Course was Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education Ak Abdullah Pg Hj Tengah. Prior to handing over certificates to the students on completion of the course, Ak Abdullah delivered a speech in which he advised students who were receiving a scholarship not to ignore their responsibilities to Brunei.
"The government spends millions of dollars every year on its students in order to produce thinkers, academics, as well as high quality human resources," Ak Abdullah said.
The Brunei Times