Ensuring the best future for children

Daniel Norjidi

Ensuring the best future for children is a shared responsibility and all levels of society have an important role to play in safeguarding the rights and well-being of children in this country, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang said Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad.

In a message related to Universal Children’s Day 2022, celebrated on November 20, the minister said: “The celebration of Universal Children’s Day is one of the country’s efforts to fulfill its obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the spirit of To strengthen unity and community awareness of the rights of children under the age of 18, regardless of status and religion, to be protected from all forms of violence, to develop healthily and receive education to reach their full potential.

“Therefore, any person who has committed crimes against children will receive the appropriate punishment under the law in Brunei Darussalam, regardless of who they are.

“Through these rights, one hopes to provide children with a bright future and also lead to progress towards the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs).”

The Minister noted that after Report on the provisional census of the total population In 2021, children and young people under the age of 18 make up 25 percent of the total population of Brunei Darussalam.

He emphasized that it is important for the child protection ecosystem to be more holistic and sustainable in order to ensure that children can live safely and enjoy quality of life even when the world faces new challenges or developments.

“Therefore, all walks of life have an important role to play in upholding the rights and well-being of children in this country. We need to recognize that ensuring the best future for children is a shared responsibility and not just the responsibility of parents; Therefore, protecting children begins at the family, followed by the community, governmental and non-governmental institutions, and the nation as a whole, in line with international obligations.”

“To this end, national efforts have been organized through a nationwide and holistic action plan, through the Child Welfare Action Plan 2020-2024, under the National Council for Social Affairs. Aside from the initiatives in this action plan, we also appreciate the support and support of various non-governmental organizations working hand in hand to implement welfare programs for children.”

The minister noted that while COVID-19 has not reduced the impact on these efforts, it has also brought some wisdom, including community and volunteer unity, which he says is encouraging and strongly felt.

In addition, offering online services has raised awareness of the role of technology in providing convenience to the community, he said.

“For example in June 2022 the Bantuan Keperluan Persekolahan Tahunan (BKPT) formerly known as the Skim Miftaahun Najaah (SMN) has been integrated into the National Welfare System (SKN) to align the welfare system in Brunei Darussalam. This will streamline and ease the management of applicants who need support to be more organized.”

He further mentioned that during the early endemic phase the Siuknya Ke Sekolah The program was implemented at several state elementary schools across the country to increase the enthusiasm and motivation of children who had just started in-person classes. A buddy system was also established at secondary schools and universities through which Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya (PRS) to help teachers and school counselors deliver mentoring and counseling programs and services.

“Another ongoing program run by the Department of Schools is this SINAR Program, an early prevention program to ward off the influences of negative behaviors and issues that can affect children’s academic performance and future, and was implemented in 18 secondary schools in March 2022 and several secondary schools and colleges in June 2022.

“Alhamdulillah, the At-TabarruBil Khairaat Program was also implemented for the 8th time by the Department of Islamic Studies to provide support to selected students from the Technical and Vocational Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE). This program also aims to introduce students to community service and actualize a spirit of concern and determination to care for the welfare of the community. This also reflects that Brunei Darussalam always offers opportunities to the community, regardless of age, status and background, to make a positive contribution to the future of the community, especially the children.”

Referring to the National Framework on Child Protection (NFCP), which was introduced in 2020, the Minister said: “Alhamdulillah, the implementation plan is being actively implemented, with continued training with stakeholders and capacity building; Publication; Translation and creation of the online portal: Register of Children and Young Persons in Need of Protection (RCYPNP), which was launched on May 16, 2022 for the first phase.

“The RCYPNP portal aims to support agencies involved in child protection in identifying vulnerable children and young people and to facilitate and support communication and the exchange of information between agencies.

Alhamdulillah, the new home shelter at the Welfare Home Complex, Community Development Department (JAPEM), has been completed to ensure the continued welfare of all children in this country, regardless of their origin. Insya Allah, this new accommodation will ensure a more comfortable and conducive environment for the development of residents, especially children who need protection.”

In his message, he also shared that through JAPEM, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has planned several events to further liven up the celebrations of World Children’s Day, in collaboration with various partners, such as the Ministry of Schools, the Ministry of Private Education , the Department of Special Education, the Islamic Studies Department, the Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (ITQSHHB), the Brunei Youth Council (BYC), the Council for the Welfare of Persons with Different Abilities (MKOKU), the Project Women Brunei , MyActionForSDGS, Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) and Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT).

“Insya Allah, which is intended to raise awareness and develop the life skills that children need for the future and introduce the Convention on the Rights of the Child and provide a platform for children to exchange their opinions and ideas.

“Children are the most valuable asset in achieving progress and a sustainable and high-quality future for a country, and they are expected to create a society that can contribute to development and will take the lead in the country,” the minister stressed .

“Government will continue to formulate strategies, policies and programs for child well-being and development, while parents, families, neighbors, communities and strategic partners are called upon to continue to work together to ensure our children are protected and guided to face.” to remain resilient to future challenges.

The minister concluded: “Let us all work together to achieve a better future for every child in this country.”