Supporting The Public Sector of Brunei Darussalam
Public spending on education was 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2012. There are multiple government-funded primary and secondary schools, technical and vocational institutions, and private educational institutions located throughout the country. Private schools include Seri Mulia Sarjana International School, which is among the leading private schools in Brunei Darussalam.
The primary component of a new education system was introduced during 2009–11. Under this system, there are six years of primary school, starting at the age of six and leading to Primary School Assessment, or Penilaian Sekolah Rendah, and, depending on academic ability, either four or five years of secondary school, leading to the Brunei–Cambridge or London Edexcel International GCE O level exams.
On the establishment of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in Bandar Seri Begawan in 1985, local pursuit of degree courses became possible. The government, nevertheless, continued to award scholarships to qualified Brunei citizens to undertake courses of study not yet available at UBD and many Bruneians continue their studies in other countries. Other tertiary level institutions include the Jefri Bolkiah College of Engineering at Kuala Belait; and the Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University and Institut Teknologi Brunei at Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan. The female–male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 1.70:1 (2011). There is virtually no illiteracy among people aged 15–24.
Health care in Brunei is fully subsidised by the government. There are five government general hospitals, which are supplemented by health centres throughout the country. There are also two private hospitals funded by private health insurance. Infant mortality was six per 1,000 live births in 2011 (63 in 1960). Malaria has been completely eradicated. The Ministry of Health is the government ministry responsible for the country’s health system. The country’s pharmaceutical industry benefits from Brunei’s wealth of raw materials through its rainforests, and this has allowed it to focus on the niche halal pharmaceutical market. The petroleum and natural gas industry and the armed forces have their own separate Occupational Health Services. Workers in these sectors are not covered by the Ministry of Health’s Occupational Health Division.
The country has 3,650 km of roads, 77 per cent of which are paved. There is no railway. The Brunei, Belait and Tutong rivers provide an important means of transport. The main deep-water port is at Muara, with a dedicated container terminal. Brunei Shell Petroleum has its own jetty at the port. Brunei International Airport is 6 km north-east of the capital and is served by AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines. The government-owned Royal Brunei Airlines is the national airline of Brunei, with its hub at the Brunei International Airport. There is no internal air service.