Government Takes Seriously the Well-Being and Safety of Students Abroad During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the media conference, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman, Minister Of Education explained the ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs to monitor the latest developments in the spread of COVID-19 in countries identified as hosts of students from Brunei Darussalam.

The ministry would like to inform the public especially the parents and guardians of Brunei Darussalam students studying overseas that the Government of His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam places great importance on the students' well-being and safety particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected almost all countries in the world.

In this regard, the Ministry of Education is working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs through Brunei Darussalam's overseas diplomatic missions in monitoring the latest developments of COVID-19 in countries known to host the country's students. Among actions already taken and being implemented are: Obtaining daily reports from Education Attaches in Australia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom on the situation of students in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The reports are sent daily to the COVID-19 Operations Centre, Ministry of Education which has been activated since January 2020 for the purpose of observation and monitoring;

For countries which do not have Education Attaches such as the United States, Canada and Hongkong, China as well as other countries, the Ministry of Education carries out direct monitoring through either from the Scholarship Division, Ministry of Education or Brunei Darussalam's envoys in the related countries.

Education Attaches abroad have issued notices to all students to take precautionary measures including not travelling to countries badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; avoiding from visiting crowded places; reporting to the country's representatives on their health from time to time as well seeking advice from the relevant parties when feeling unwell and increasing personal hygiene. The notice also informs the students to always follow the current developments on the COVID-19 pandemic, especially at their institution of study and there country where they are studying in general.

Taking into account Brunei Darussalam is now also facing challenges in controlling the spread of C0VID-19, the Ministry of Education on the advice of the Ministry of Health will study measures to enable the students to return home inline with the designated process.

In this regard, the Ministry would like to advise the students' parents and guardians not to be worried and to obtain information from the relevant parties on the measures being taken in protecting the safety and well-being of the students.

The Ministry of Education is also appealing for the cooperation of the students, their parents and guardians to urgently register themselves to the country's representatives in the countries where they are studying (if they have not done so) in ensuring the Government will be able to provide assistance to the students especially in the situation we are facing now.

For any query on the measures taken for students abroad, the parents and guardians may refer to the Scholarship Division, Ministry of Education, Blok C Level 5, Ministry of Education or contact line 2380019; or through the e-mail address: scholarship@moe.gov.bn.

Source: Radio Television Brunei