Frequently Asked Questions
Need some help? Just click on one of the sections below to find the answer. If you still can’t find an answer to your question, please give our Customer Service a call on +673 244 2773 or drop us an email at info@cfbt.org
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Frequently Asked Questions

Need some help? Just click on one of the sections below to find the answer. If you still can’t find an answer to your question, please give our Customer Service a call on +673 244 2773 or drop us an email at info@cfbt.org

English Language Teachers

1. Can you tell me about the relationship between Education Development Trust and CfBT Brunei

Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT Education Trust) is the principal sponsor of CfBT Brunei. The Trust  is a global education organisation with a Head Office in the UK and regional offices in Brunei, UAE and Kenya. The Trust aims to transform lives around the globe by improving schools and school systems, working with governments, donor organisations or clusters of schools in education reform projects.

The interview is conducted by a panel consisting of one of our Education Project Managers (EPMs), a CfBT Brunei HR representative, and a representative from the Brunei MoE who usually sits in to hear the interview and make notes. If you are successful you will be placed on an eligibility list which is valid for one year. Please note that although we can conduct the interview, the official verdict won’t be released until all of the required documents have been submitted. The official verdict is jointly decided by CfBT and MoE and is normally released within two weeks of the interview.

2. Can you tell me more about the work of CfBT in Brunei

CfBT Education Services has been working with the Ministry of Education in Brunei for over 30 years. Our focus is to raise the proficiency and attainment levels of Bruneian students through high impact teaching and learning in classrooms, specialised national support and intervention programmes, and the continuous building of our own and local capacity across primary and secondary schools and sixth form colleges. 

As an employee of CfBT, you have the opportunity to make an important contribution to the success of the project through your specialised teaching, and  involvement in education projects and professional development opportunities. 

3. What is the interview and approval process

To begin the application process, you need to apply via the Education Development Trust website or CfBT Brunei website  uploading the required documents to your profile.

The interview is conducted by a panel consisting of one of our Education Project Managers (EPMs), a CfBT Brunei HR representative, and a representative from the Brunei MoE who usually sits in to hear the interview and make notes. If you are successful you will be placed on an eligibility list hich is valid for one year. Please note that although we can conduct the interview, the official verdict won’t be released until all of the required documents have been submitted. The official verdict is jointly decided by CfBT and MoE and is normally released within two weeks of the interview.

4. How long is a contract?

All teachers arriving in January get an initial 2-year contract. If you arrive mid-year, you will receive a contract up to the end of the following year (16 – 20 months). We do not offer a contract less than that length of time. Currently, after your initial contract – based on satisfactory performance, you can opt to sign a 1 or 2-year subsequent contract.

5. What are school like?

Schools in the country vary widely in terms of size, age, location and state of repair, from the very modern to those in some need of renovation. A few secondary schools have over 2,000 students split into two shifts. Most, however, are around 1,500. Primary schools usually have around 300-400 students, although some have as few as 100, or as many as 1,000. It should be noted that you could be posted by CfBT to any school, on either morning or afternoon shift. However,we always consider your individual preferences when making the posting decision.

A secondary school is run by a Principal, who is usually Bruneian, assisted by two Deputy Principals. There is a fairly standard hierarchy below that of Senior Teachers and Heads of Departments. In primary schools there is a Head Teacher (Guru Besar) who is usually assisted by a Deputy, although this depends on the size of the school.

In secondary schools, there can be up to 5 or 6 CfBT teachers. In primary schools, there is usually only one CfBT teacher, who may also be the only expatriate in the school.

6. What is it like to live in Temburong District?

Temburong is the easternmost district of Brunei and in separated from the rest of the country. There are 4 secondary teachers and 7 Primary teachers based in Temburong. It is currently reached by river taxi from Bandar Seri Begawan or road via Malaysia. A bridge connecting Temburong to the main districts of Brunei is due to be completed in 2020. 

 

Temburong is a quiet and peaceful district, with largely unspoilt jungle and beautiful natural surroundings. It is quieter than the main urban areas of Brunei and suits teachers who are self-contained, enjoy more rural areas and are content with a limited variety of restaurants and entertainment. Only teachers without dependant children can be posted to

Temburong due to the distance to the international schools

A secondary school is run by a Principal, who is usually Bruneian, assisted by two Deputy Principals. There is a fairly standard hierarchy below that of Senior Teachers and Heads of Departments. In primary schools there is a Head Teacher (Guru Besar) who is usually assisted by a Deputy, although this depends on the size of the school.

In secondary schools, there can be up to 5 or 6 CfBT teachers. In primary schools, there is usually only one CfBT teacher, who may also be the only expatriate in the school.

7. How should I dress in school

The appropriate dress for Brunei is fairly conservative, both in your professional and personal life.
At school male teachers should wear smart long trousers with long sleeved shirts and tie. They should wear smart shoes with socks but not sandals. Some teachers prefer to wear a traditional long-sleeved Malay style shirt.

Female teachers are required to wear skirts in school, strictly no trousers. The neckline of the blouse should be high and sleeves need to be below the elbow, but preferably full length. Hemlines should be at least mid-calf but, again, preferably full length. Often ladies choose to wear the traditional baju kurong which consists of a full-length skirt with a tunic style top.

8. What are the students like?

Most of the students are Malay Muslims, but there are also a large number of Chinese students who may be Bruneian citizens or permanent residents. In more rural areas indigenous groups may be represented.

In terms of ability and motivation, there is quite a wide range, from highly motivated students with almost native speaker English language competence to the disaffected and unmotivated students with very little English.

As in any country, discipline problems do exist, although they tend to be born of frustration and manifest themselves more in lethargy than in confrontation. Systems to deal with such problems are in place in most schools.

9. What is the school year?

The school year runs from January to November. 

The main holiday takes place at the end of the school year in December. There are around 10/11 weeks school holiday per year, usually taking place in March, June, September and December,  though certain holidays are dependent on the timing on Ramadhan.

10. What is the school day and week like?

Teaching takes place from 7.30 – 12.30 on Monday to Thursday and on Saturday with teachers normally arriving at school between 7.00 – 7.15 for morning assembly or form duties. There is a split weekend on Friday and Sunday.

A normal teaching load is typically about 14-18 curricular contact hours a week or 28-36 teaching periods of 30 minutes each. Teachers in general teach up to a maximum of 6 periods in any one day. All teachers normally have a block of two or three co-curricular/extra-curricular (CCA/ECA) periods once per week in addition to their curricular loading. You also have to be in school for 4 ‘stay-backs’ of 1.5 hours for an additional 6 hours per week. This time is set aside for clubs, extra classes, meetings, professional development, planning and preparation. You are expected to be available until 4.30 for any school-related activities though you are frequently able to leave before then.

Because of pressure of numbers, some secondary schools run a double shift (7.30-12.30 then 12.30-5.30), but teachers will only work one of those shifts.

11. What resources are available?

In primary there are class sets of graded phonic readers in each school issued by the Curriculum Development Department (CDD). For Pra, CDD has produced thematic posters and flashcards that align with the syllabus units. In addition, there is a wide range of teaching materials that have been developed by our teachers. Some of these are distributed during your Induction Programme while others can be accessed on the CfBT intranet.

In secondary, there are core textbooks produced by CDD for each syllabus which are issued to every student. CfBT has also produced many support resources over time and these are also available in schools or from CfBT.

In three of the four districts of Brunei, there is an Education Centre, with a fairly extensive stock of books, magazines, videos etc. as well as photocopying facilities. As resourcing levels vary from school to school each teacher has an annual photocopying allowance which can be used in the Education Centres.

12. What technology is typically available in schools?

All schools vary in the amount of technology available to teachers. An increasing number of schools now have interactive whiteboards and data projectors in classrooms. Schools usually have an ICT room but it usually needs to be booked in advance by teachers. Access to the Internet or WiFi also varies and may not be available at all schools.

13. Who is my line manager and how is my performance measured?

There are six Education Project Managers (EPMs), including a Head of Primary and a Head of Secondary, who are your line managers. Teacher performance is ascertained through a variety of means such as Advisory Lesson Visits, Walkthroughs, Teacher Record Audits (work scrutiny), formal Performance Review Meetings, target setting and feedback from school leaders.

14. What are my Safeguarding responsibilities as a teacher?

All teachers must demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This is essential to their role as a teacher. Specifically, a teacher must:

  • Have a clear commitment to safeguarding children and young people in all circumstances.
  • Have a clear commitment to implementing and adhering to CfBT’S safeguarding and child protection reporting procedures, ensuring the health and well-being of children/students is maintained at all times.
  • Have regard for the need to safeguard students’ well-being, in accordance with CfBT’s safeguarding policies and reporting procedures.

 

Additional safeguarding duties for teachers include:

  • Responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
  • Responsibility to take appropriate action to help a child who may be in need of extra help, including making a prompt report to CfBT of any actions or referrals within the school.
  • Being vigilant and following CfBT child protection procedures if you have a child protection or safeguarding concern.

Ensuring all concerns of a child protection/safeguarding nature are reported and recorded as per CfBT’s International Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, and in a timely manner.

15. What is my relationship with the school administration?

Whilst your EPM will be your direct line manager and responsible for your performance management, you will be part of a Bruneian school team, working collegially with local staff members and taking direction from the school administration.

 

16. What educational projects can I get involved in?

CfBT partners with the Ministry of Education annually on a range of national educational initiatives and programmes. All CfBT teachers are expected to contribute where appropriate to these activities as qualified and experienced specialists in participant, support or lead roles. You are encouraged to apply for leading roles which often have additional remuneration attached to them.

Current projects:

  • Professional Learning Communities [PLCs]
  • IGCSE ESL AdVantage student support programme O Level and IGCSE ESL teacher training
  • Primary curriculum review with Curriculum Development Department [CDD]
  • Primary Content and Language Integrated Learning
    [CLIL]
  • Primary Content and Language Integrated Learning
    [CLIL]
  • Primary STEP UP student support programme

EPMs are responsible for the management of our projects and provide on-going support to teachers in all roles.

17. What professional development is available?

CfBT is committed to the continuing growth and development of all of you. As a learning organisation we are responsible for the capacity building of all our staff. We therefore offer a range of formal and informal development opportunities with ranging degrees of financial assistance for all involved.

Current professional development on offer includes:
• CELTA and DELTA Cambridge courses
• Malay language training
• CIE on-line courses
• Language awareness workshops
• In-service awards for relevant postgraduate study
• TET Fellowships in ASEAN countries
• Annual specialised CPD for all CfBT teachers

18. What is the induction period?

The induction period starts on the first day after arrival and is usually 2 weeks long. Both welfare and educational sessions are held which cover topics such as the education system, syllabi and schemes of work, assessment and reporting, MoE expectations, school visits, medical, car buying, housing, customs and culture and company policies and procedures. We also assist with immigration, banking and with helping you to get a local drivers’ license.

19. What are the salary and benefits?

The salary scale is detailed on the application form and is from B$3,500 to $5,000 on arrival depending on the number of years’ experience with a bar of B$5,500 a month. There is a contract completion bonus of 1/6th of salary. Other benefits include:
• Provided, family-sized, furnished accommodation
• Return airfares and baggage allowance
• Annual flight allowances following initial contract on offer of subsequent contract
• Heavily subsidised (about 80%) private education for up to two children in Brunei at schools approved by CfBT (ages 5-18) or three children for teaching couples
• Allowances for accompanying spouse and up to three children until they start primary school
• Induction Programme in Brunei before taking up teaching duties
• Education Centres with libraries, teaching resources with computer/internet facilities
• Professional, administrative and welfare support
• Interest-free car loan
• Interest-free computer loan
• Full group medical health care insurance scheme for employee and dependents (subject to B$300.00 access for out-patient treatment) plus free government health care for children under twelve. For pregnant women, free anti natal care (holders of dependent pass), CfBT will reimburse employees for up to B$2000.00 on production of receipts for delivery
• Settling-in Allowance of B$500 per teacher and up to two accompanying children.

20. What sort of accommodation is provided?

Temporary accommodation upon arrival in Brunei will be a house, hotel or apartment, during which time teachers may view permanent accommodation options using either a real estate agent or information provided by our Property & Facilities team.

You have the option of living in a house or garden an apartment. Most houses are furnished although some teachers prefer unfurnished houses so that they can furnish it themselves. Houses will have curtains/blinds for most windows, a lounge set for the living room, a dining set and beds and cupboards while kitchens will be fitted with a cooker oven and fridge. Most rooms have air conditioning units.

21. Why is a car required?

Teachers need to be able to drive a car as public transport is limited which effectively prevents you from getting to school, to the CfBT office, ministries or to social events.

There is an active second-hand car market with a wide range of car models available. You may apply for an interest free B$10,000 car loan upon arrival – for cars not more than 10 years old – (paid off over 10 or 20 months) and this enables the purchase of a suitable vehicle(s).

Teachers will need to obtain an international driving licence before they arrive, and will be able to obtain a Brunei driving licence once in country. 

22. What assistance is provided for a school age dependents?

There are two main international schools in Brunei; the International School Brunei (ISB) and Jerudong International School (JIS). The majority of CfBT dependents go to ISB.

We pay an education allowance for up to 2 children (or 3 if a teaching couple). The education allowance covers approximately 80% of the school fees at the ISB. The exact amount depends on the age of the dependent but is in the region of B$250 per child. Teachers are also responsible for a one-off entrance fee which can be taken off the completion of contract bonus or paid monthly. It is not possible to provide the exact figures as the school fees vary year on year.

23. Where can I find out more information about teaching in Brunei

Please view the CfBT Education Services website at www.cfbt.org and a collection of videos about teaching and living in Brunei at www.cfbtvideos.org. Also view a recruitment video on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqAulBbfFUg&t=14s. If you would like to find out more about Education Development Trust and our work globally please view www.educationdevelopmenttrust.com