Gaining Gold

Resident gold medalist Fiona Hii Wee Ting has done nothing but bring our school’s name justice as of late. Fiona from A1 has successfully added to her award collection (a collection of currently 26 golds 12 Silver and 11 bronze medals) and name 2 more gold medals after riding a winning streak of a total of 5 wins in the Brunei Junior Cadet Table Tennis Championship 2019.

The Equinox decided to have a sit down with Fiona and get to know more about her and her table tennis experiences. She has played table tennis for almost 10 years, initially embarking on her table tennis journey around the end of 2009. Fiona draws her inspiration from that of her own father and cousins, who were frequent and passionate players themselves. The multiple gold medalist simply said; “I thought of trying (after seeing her cousins play) and I started loving it.”

Fiona is also one of the national athletes for table tennis who has often had opportunities to go overseas and compete in various table tennis competitions, with her most frequent visits being to the country members of the ASEAN. Fiona was scouted for the national team after winning 1st place at an inter-school competition in 2010 leading to her first international competition in the ASEAN PRIMARY SCHOOL SPORTS OLYMPIAD, where some of her first contenders were players from Thailand and Vietnam.

As a Sixth Form student, The Equinox were quite curious as to how Fiona juggles her double life between being a full time student and national athlete. Fiona has mentioned in her interview that she has training at least thrice a week, with all of them being at night. However, she also goes on to mention the following; “I do not want to prioritize sports over studies.” Even though Fiona has had an eternal love for sports as sports has a tendency to make her “happy and relieves my (her) stress” she aims to take her love for sports to yet another level, with her dreams and aspirations of wanting to become a physiotherapist.

Lastly, we have asked Fiona on her parents’ views regarding her being a national athlete.

“At first they were extremely happy and proud but now they have just gotten used to it (her frequent absence from home). My mom used to cry at first but now its just byes and see you(s). However, it is fun to travel with your friends and do what you love.”

The Equinox would like to congratulate Fiona on her recent win and wish her all the best for her next competition happening this Sunday, at the Brunei Open. We also hope that Fiona can be an inspiration to other students to always do what they love and to never give up on their dreams. Not only that, but we also hope that Fiona can be an inspiration to all Bruneians and make everyone more aware on fitness and health.

Find more about Fiona on her Instagram page, @fionahwt. and read her interview with Borneo Bulletin here.

Video Games

Video games are a form of electronic recreation that involves interaction on an interface that generates visual feedback on two or three dimensional video display devices such as TVs, computers, laptops and mobile phones. Online games are the most popular and they are primarily played through the Internet which allows us to communicate with other gamers. Based on the personal observations that we have made, most Pusat Tingkatan Enam Meragang students play more video games on their mobile phones and consoles rather than on the computer.

Firstly, playing video games can be beneficial. It can help relieve stress from studying, due to the fact that when we play video games with friends, we can enjoy the games more being able to have fun with others without dwelling on our problems, causing us to focus on the games for the time being. An additional side-note would be that at the same time, video games also can improve our problem solving skill. 

In addition, video games can improve our social skills. It is because we will have the opportunity to communicate with people from other countries. This may aid us in perhaps learning new languages and strengthening our bonds with people from other nations. Our self-confidence may also develop as a result, since we are used to talking with strangers in the video games.

On the other hand, playing video games can also have its drawbacks. We, as students who play video games, may be distracted from our studies, spending more time playing video games rather than focusing on our studies. Moreover, we may also be easily exposed to anonymous people with ill intent. Hackers could easily gain access to our personal information, meaning that, we must attempt to play games which has higher security standards to avoid these problems.

In conclusion, it depends on how we decide to include video game-playing in our daily lives. We must manage our time and make sure that video games will not take over our entire lives. The only people who can allow their lives to revolve around video games are the professionals – e-sport athletes and game developers.

Contributing Writers:

MOHAMMAD NABIL WAQIUDDIN BIN HAJI MOHAMAD
ABDUL YAZID BIN ZULKIFLI
AK MUHAMMAD RAFI’ HAFIZUDDIN BIN PG HAJI JUNAIDI
MUHAMMAD NAJIB FIKRI BIN SAIFUL HARDI

Class: U6 ‘O’ Level Block 5

UnikLearn

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UnikLearn is a training and internship programme for differently-abled youth with the aim to empower them towards independent living by enhancing their social skills and personal interactions. To sustain the project which requires professional therapists, UnikLearn will cost trainees $800 a month. The training component of the programme will be conducted four times a week, in three-hour sessions at Spark Lifeskill’s centre in Kg. Jangsak, with an emphasis on improving interpersonal and situational skills.

Several companies have supported UnikLearn by giving the differently-abled youth opportunities to be one of their interns; one of the companies is Noice. We had a small talk with the Creative Director of Noice in order  to know more about the internships that take place in their cafe. Gladly, the Creative Director with his bright smile talked about his experience in training one of the interns that now have become one of their full-time staff members.

Firdaus Omar, the Creative Director of Noice, came up with two reasons as to why he wanted to collaborate with UnikLearn. From a business perspective, he is always interested in people who want to work and is equally as interested in tapping into a potential human resource. He noticed that the interns from UnikLearn had working experience, seeing the opportunity to employ keen interns who really wanted to operate as a part of the team. Coincidentally, one of the team members, Muhd Syahmi Bin Haji Juma’at who is now a full-time member of staff at Noice, loves to cook so his work blends both what he enjoys doing and his current job at Noice. So, employing interns from UnikLearn helps from a business perspective because employers have dedicated staff members who love their jobs and are willing to work together as a team.

From Firdaus Omar’s personal perspective, he would be more socially responsible in his business and be more open minded with members of the community in working with special needs individuals. It is often that the special needs individuals are judged unfairly based on their abilities and appearance. By collaborating with UnikLearn, he would like to give work opportunities to the special needs individuals as they are not only determined, but willing to work. In addition, this helps to get rid of the discrimination associated against special needs individuals regarding that they ‘do not have the capability to hold a full-time job.’ Firdaus Omar has stated that his partner has someone in his family who is a special needs individual. So, for them, the idea of seeing special needs individuals become more independent and become part of the community is most satisfying. This programme is not just different but is also unique in a way that engages regular members of the local community in contributing their support for special needs individuals who live in our community.

Regarding the work structure for the interns who are working with UnikLearn, Firdaus Omar has stated that the way an employee learns things is different. For example, Syahmi has been given morning shifts for a month where he does all the preparation through memorisation and he has to repeat the same tasks every day. For the next month, Syahmi’s schedule will be changed so Firdaus Omar can monitor his progress in doing his tasks.

Firdaus Omar had expressed himself about his experience in working with the interns of UnikLearn and it was heartwarming. Even though they are special needs individuals, they are also members of society who should be given access to work opportunities. Special needs individuals just need encouragement and support from members of the community. With the help of Firdaus Omar’s friend, McCoy, the founder of Spark Lifeskills, he had met every single intern from UnikLearn and it had been a great experience that made him learn something. It made him more patient and understanding because he had to think about ways to support Syahmi in his learning and development. Furthermore, as readers, we need to open our minds and heart to see that, even with the challenges they will face at work, they still want to work and live for themselves. In addition, they can rely more on themselves in preparation for a society that can be either cruel or kind.

After the small talk, the interviewers also took the opportunity to try some of the popular sandwiches at Noice; a ‘Sloppy Johan’. The taste of the dish was full of flavour, where all the spices were ‘alive’ and the juiciness of the meat could be tasted. The dish was also served with some fruit that had been diced and the taste of cinnamon was also there. For the pastry, the salted egg donut was very delicious. The bun was served piping hot and fresh. The filling melted in the mouth once the interviewers ate it. With the combination of the fresh, soft bun and hot melted filling, it was perfect. On top of that, Noice is a suitable place to spend time with family and friends while enjoying the aroma of the coffee that lingers under noses.

Contributing Writers:

NUR ATHILAH BINTI ABU BAKAR
NURATIQAH BINTI AWANG ROSMAN
BAZILAH BINTI MUHAMMAD YUSSOF
NURUL NABILAH BINTI ISMAIL
NOR IZZAH IZZATI BINTI ZUSLIE

Class: U6 ‘O’ Level Block 5

Mobile Phones

As the world has become increasingly modernised, technological devices have become basic necessities in our daily lives, particularly, mobile phones. In this case, a majority of people would use the mobile phone as an essential tool for a variety of purposes in everyday life. A mobile phone allows people to connect to other compatible devices, surf the Internet, listen to music, play games and capture precious moments in their lives. From the students’ point of view, mobile phones are also utilized as tools for educational purposes.

Given this fact, we took the opportunity to interview a few students from Pusat Tingkatan Enam Meragang on how they use their mobile phones.

Most students whom we had interviewed said that they use their mobile phones almost constantly – as soon as they wake up, while waiting for their parents to pick them up or even while eating. They also mention that they cannot go without their phones in their hands.

Most students also said they often use their mobile phones to gain access to social media and mobile games. They would also send text messages to their friends or cousins from both short or long distances, keeping in constant contact with them to avoid awkwardness in the event that they meet up face to face.

Phones today are not just phones. They also serve as multifunctional tools, especially for educational purposes. From the students’ point of view, mobile phones help them to acquire study notes, past year papers and other beneficial resources, enabling tough academic subjects easier to learn and understand by way of utilizing mobile phones.

In addition to this, mobile phones are also an ideal tool for students to communicate with teachers and classmates, sending messages and being able to complete assignments away from the classroom when they are not able to meet face-to-face. Given this fact, mobile phones are important in the sense that they are able to cope with notes they have missed or ask questions regarding topics covered in class.

Mobile phones are needed to organise locations and time for them to plan study groups or work on projects with friends. Any cancellation or reschedule can be made with everyone’s knowledge.

Contributing Writers: 
NUR AMIRAH BINTI HAJI JAHAIR
ALISHA ERWINA ANAK SAZUALIANDI
NURIZZATI QISTHINA BINTI ABDULLAH MOHAMAD AZROL
NURNAJIBAH BINTI HAJI ABD SAMAD 
HAZIQAH NUR AFROZA BINTI JOHAIMI

Class: U6 ‘O’ Level Block 5