I had a great day today - I went to Sekolah Menengah Muda Hashim. (Muda Hashim Secondary School). The school is in Tutong which is Brunei's third largest town. It is a boys school with about a thousand boys. Most of the boys live in Kampongs (villages) or on a nearby army base. The boys I meet were in year 7.
Here are some of my friends hard at work in class. Their teacher is a friend of mine Mr Peters who comes from Thames in New Zealand. At the beginning of the year the boys choose and buy material to make covers for their desks. They also buy a broom, a mop and other cleaning gear. It is the boys responsibility to decorate their classroom and keep the room clean. There are no cleaners - the boys have to do it themselves. They are very proud of their classroom and take pride in keeping it clean, tidy and well decorated.
Here are some of my new friends. Can you see me in the pictures?
I am having trouble learning their names. Two of my friends names are Ahmad Imanuddin bin Hj Ahmad Mahyuddin and Awangku Mohammad Adi Putar bin Pg Saiful Rizam. If there is Pg in the name it means they are related to the Royal family.
Here is another classroom I visited.
School is Monday to Thursday and Saturday. Each day classes begin at 7.30am and finish at 12.30pm with a half hour break 10.00 - 10.30. Then there are religious studies each day from 2.00pm to 4.30pm. Friday is like our Sunday - a mosque (church) and prayer day. The boys buy their lunch at school for about $1 - if they took their own lunch it would spoil in the heat.
All the classes are meant to be taught using the English language, but I did notice some teachers sometimes using the Bruneian language. All the boys can speak at least two languages.
This is a teacher friend of mine. Her name is Cikgu Rosmawati bte Pg Hj Metali.
Here is another teacher, Cikgu Zairina bte Hj Oman.
It was a fun day meeting new friends. The boys are very nice and gentle by nature. They were very kind to me and made me feel very welcome in their school which they are very proud of.