Two schools come under royal scrutiny
By M K Anwar & James Kon

Two educational institutions in the capital came under close scrutiny by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

His Majesty made surprise visits to Sayyidina Abu Bakar Secondary School in Lambak Kanan and the Berakas Sixth Form Centre or Pusat Tingkatan Enam Berakas at Skim Tanah Kurnia Rakyat Jati in Lambak Kiri.

His Majesty first visited Sayyidina Abu Bakar Secondary School, which was opened in 1994.

Accommodating students from the Lambak Kanan Housing Schemes as well as other kampongs in Mukim Berakas, the school has about 1,700 students and 130 teachers and staff.

His Majesty toured some of the classes, facilities and also mingled freely with the students and teachers and at times stopped to talk with a few. Briefing His Majesty during the visit was the school's principal, Hjh Kamlah bte Hj Daud.

Besides classes, His Majesty also visited the school's staff room and later the library.

From Sayyidina Abu Bakar Secondary School, His Majesty proceeded to Pusat Tingkatan Enam Berakas.

Considered as one of the well-designed schools in the country, the centre was opened last November and this month received its first batch of lower six students.

Built at a cost of $12 million on a six square hectare site, the centre now accommodates about 900 students and has 81 teachers.

His Majesty was welcomed by the school's Deputy Principals, Awang Abdullah bin Awang Ismail and Hjh Noridah binti Abullah.

One concern raised by His Majesty during the visit was on the absence of a sports field. The monarch told education officials that every school must have its own sports field so that students can engage in healthy extra curricular activities.

His Majesty visited two of the school's 14 science labs. The Principal, Mrs Lee Yen Tshin, briefed His Majesty on the school's facilities.

His Majesty then went to the library, where the ruler expressed his concern on the lack of reading materials. Teachers told the Bulletin that works are currently in progress to complete the library.

Before proceeding to the school canteen, His Majesty visited the prayer hall and staff room. Along the way, the monarch mingled with some of the students.

The visit further highlighted His Majesty's concern and care towards the education of the rakyat in the country. With education provided free for His Majesty's subjects, the beloved ruler wanted to ensure that it was also conducted properly and adequately. - Borneo Bulletin (10th Mar 2006)