Brunei Faces Lack Of English Teachers

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Dec 4 16:50:46 UTC 2006

Brunei Faces Lack Of English Teachers
By Shareen Han

Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei Darussalam is facing a shortage of English
teachers, which may adversely affect students' development in the subject,
according to an English teacher at Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah
College. Tutty Abd Latip, who has taught at the college for seven years,
said the lack of English teachers was especially evident in the tertiary
level. "We need to strengthen our workforce because we have been facing a
lack of manpower in this field for several years already," she told The
Brunei Times at the first ever get-together dinner of the Brunei English
Language Teachers' Association (Belta).

She said the association presented good networking opportunity for English
teachers from Bandar Seri Begawan, Tutong, Belait and Temburong. Joanna
Kwan, the secretary of Belta said the non-profit organisation helped
teachers to discuss problems in their schools. Professional development
workshops are also organised to benefit the teachers. "We hope to have
more new members on board as' experienced English teachers and new
teachers alike will provide a dynamic combination that will help students
improve their grasp of English," she said.

Joanna Kwan, who has been teaching at the Raja Isteri Girls High School
for over a year, said that Belta was committed in continuing to organise
activities that benefit students such as spelling competitions and drama
festivals planned for next year. "We're hoping to organise competitions in
Temburong because they deserve some exposure and also to ensure that they
are not left behind," she added at the sidelines of the dinner on Friday.
Belta will also be involved in the biennial National English Conference
with the Council for British Teachers (CfBT), which is one of the
independent suppliers of education resource management and consultancy
services based in Brunei. Under the leadership of Aishah Muhd Husain, the
president of Belta, the organisation was first established in the 1970s as
Brunei Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language.

It was renamed Belta in 2004. To date, it boasts of more than 200 members.
Belta has recently organised the 2nd Spelling Competition in the Brunei
Muara district as well as the 1st Drama Festival for schools in the Tutong
district.-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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