Education in Brunei

  • David Deterding
  • Salbrina Sharbawi
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 4)


This chapter offers an overview of the history of education in Brunei, particularly with regard to the teaching and status of English. The first schools were established in the early twentieth century, and universal education was slowly established during the course of the century. In 1984, the bilingual system of education was introduced, after which the medium of education was Malay for the first 3 years of primary school, but most subjects were taught in English from the fourth year of primary school on. In 2008, the National Education System for the 21st Century (SPN21) was implemented, and now maths and science are taught in English right from the start of primary school. There continues to be a substantial influence from CfBT in supplying expatriate teachers, with 262 CfBT teachers currently in Brunei schools, but there remains a wide divide between those who receive an excellent education and develop good skills in English and those who are less fortunate and only gain rudimentary ability in the language.


Primary School Private School Minority Language Indigenous Language Bilingual System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Deterding
    • 1
  • Salbrina Sharbawi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of Brunei DarussalamGadongBrunei Darussalam

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