A PLEASANT SURPRISE!

14 May 2014, JUBILEE ARENA – I was walking down the library circular staircase when I saw giant rectangular boxes lain against one of the pillars at the VIP parking space adjoining the Jubilee Arena. I saw the word that was clearly written on one of the boxes and I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of it.

“They’re finally here!” I said to myself. A lorry with its engine still running at idle was parked at the parking space void of driver, apparently he was sitting right behind it. There were five people wearing the same poloshirts of green, black and white standing next to these boxes with curious looks on their faces. I approached these boxes admiring them and I noticed a few grey items wrapped in transparent packages, apparently they were parapharnelia that go together with these boxes. Not long after, Cikgu Metusin our Principal, appeared from the Administration entrance and behind him was Cikgu Ai Chin our Deputy Principal. They were also beaming at the boxes. Never have I seen so many people smiled at a box before.

By now you must be wondering the content of these boxes and why everyone is making such a big fuss out of them. To tell you the truth, I was hoping to keep them a secret but I do not want to be tormented with questions when this article is published so I might as well tell you now.

Not long ago, some of the teachers from our school (Myself included) were sent to attend a course called PEAKS. I shall not bore you with the extravagant details of the course but suffice to say, it was an early sign that the wind is changing and it’s bringing with it lots of toys and gadgets to the schools all over Brunei. And today, some of them have started trickling into our own school.

So what were inside these boxes? They were two SMARTBOARDS, which the despatch form the Principal has gladly signed, sealed and delivered back to the people in the poloshirts. “One for the Science lab.” he said to Cikgu Ai Chin our Deputy Principal. “One for the Conference Room?” I suggested to the Deputy as we walked back into the staffroom leaving the Principal with the poloshirts gang who were actually from SCOT, a volunteer organisation run by UBD students who were assigned to deliver our “bundles of joy”. She said, “That would be nice…perhaps we should have it there so we can try it out ourselves.”

What I have shared here is the launching into the saga of a new chapter in Brunei Darussalam’s system of education. A commitment of the Ministry of Education in integrating ICT as an imperative element in the landscape of education the country. As the school shifts its gear to go at the same pace and draw up its own ICT Strategic Plan that echoes the vision of the MoE, many more changes would slowly be unravelled. So my advice to you, sit back, relax and stay tuned. We are about to go on an adventure, and just like any other adventures, there would be excitements, suspense and probably tears along the way, but the destination would make everything worthwhile.

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