Chung Hwa Middle School – Moulding Students into Loyal and Law-Abiding Citizens
Chung Hwa Middle School

Education has witnessed a tremendous metamorphosis in today’s fast-changing world. Students’ needs are gradually evolving, which calls for efficient educational institutions which can transform them into able leaders of tomorrow. This is where the leading schools step in, where the educators bestow the students with an education that transforms them into responsible global citizens.

One such prominent school dedicated towards educational upliftment and overall development of the students is Chung Hwa Middle School (CHMS). Established in 1922, it is one of the largest private schools in Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam. It provides a trilingual (Chinese, Malay and English) learning environment while adhering to the national education policy.

The person leading Chung Hwa Middle School from the front is none other than Madam Kho Guik Lan, the Principal and one of the longest serving members of the school. Not only was she a fellow student of the school, but since graduating from the university, Madam Kho has also been loyally serving CHMS for the past four decades.

In an interview with The Knowledge Review, Madam Kho Guik Lan shares the journey of Chung Hwa Middle School in delivering exceptional educational facilities to the students.

Below are highlights of the interview between Madam Kho and The Knowledge Review:

Please brief us about your school, its history, and mission and vision.

Chung Hwa Middle School, Bandar Seri Begawan (CHMS) had only two teaching staff and 20 students back in 1922. Ninety-eight years on, after accomplishing momentous milestones, battling against the tide of time, the journey of one of the oldest and largest Chinese private schools in the country is that to be proud of. Chung Hwa Middle School, BSB is one of the oldest schools in the country, which has made a major contribution to the education system of the country.

Following are the mission and vision of CHMS:


To lay in our students’ strong eastern values, the ability to do well in both their studies and sports, and the confidence to excel in their future careers.


To be the most sought-after school in Brunei

Brief us about your campus and the academic programs being carried out.

Chung Hwa Middle School is a private school, non-profit organisation which was established in 1922 by the Chinese community of Brunei. The school is one of the largest private school in Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam. It provides a trilingual (Chinese, Malay and English) learning environment while adhering to the national education policy.

The school is divided into:

  • Kindergarten
  • Elementary School
  • Secondary School

The three-block school building houses more than sixty classrooms, as well as science laboratories, activities rooms, library, kindergarten halls, a cooperative store, a canteen, music rooms, computer rooms, a conference room, a dental clinic, a multimedia room, teacher’s hostel, dance studio and the staff room.

There are three halls in CHMS, Darussalam Hall, Boon Pang Hall and the Lecture Hall. The large Gymnasium cum Assembly Hall (Darussalam Hall) is used for school assemblies, events and functions, physical education classes, indoor sports and games. There is a two-floor library with more than 70,000 books and 300 seats.

What additional activities does the institute conduct for overall development of the student?

The beginning of 21st century education demands for the development of future ready skills in students. Students should be able to multitask in order to meet the demands and become whole 21st century student. Students often acquire talents that are unique to their career path and are crucial for the success of potential employment.

Bearing that in mind, CHMS, BSB offers a wide range of extracurricular activities for the benefit of students. From Academic clubs such as English Oratory Club, Chinese Drama Club, Volunteer and Service-related activities such as First Aid, Police Cadet, and Multicultural activities such as Chinese Drums Club, Lion Dance Club etc., Chinese Martial Arts – Wushu club, Arts and Business activities such as Entrepreneurship Club, Science and Technology activities such as STEM, etc.

What are the factors that set the institute apart from others?

There are a few factors that gives us leverage when compared with other schools in Brunei. Chung Hwa Middle School, BSB envisions to challenge students of all abilities, to achieve excellence in a wide range of academic, cultural, collaborative, leadership, personal and sporting activities. The following are the focus points that allows us to stand out from other institutions in Brunei.

Teaching quality:

CHMS, BSB teaching quality has always been the best as we inculcate currents and practices in the way we impart our lessons. Our school is highly digitalized, and we adapt innovative approves to instill 21st century skills. We adapt Flipped learning, Project based learning, Game based learning, personalized learning etc.


Our school has a mix of academic courses for upper secondary stream where we follow Cambridge GCE O level Education module. We offer courses that include humanities and science stream and offer optional subjects to students score better based on their interest as they would like to specialize in higher education.


Our school has the top-notch facilities that create an appropriate ambiance to learn. Facilities such as student’s canteen, library, multipurpose rooms, computer labs, other study spaces are good – quality services that they can find the country.

Student services

Our school boasts to provide good-quality services that meet student’s needs and is always well supported through our staff. Our teachers always provide mentoring programs, academic assistance to help slow learners too. To support families that face financial problems, we offer full and partial scholarship where we encourage students to continue their studies.

Please tell us about your major awards and accolades if any.

Our school has won numerous awards owing to its dedicated endeavours towards academic and career development of the students. Some of them have been mentioned below:

  • ‘Exemplary School Award’ in 2009 by the Foreign Office of the People’s Republic of China
  • Microsoft Showcase School since 2014 to till date
  • BICTA [Brunei ICT Award] Winner
  • APICTA [Asia Pacific ICT Award] MERIT Winner
  • GCE O Levels – Top 10 in the World, Top in the country [Brunei Darussalam]
  • PRYNSA [Young Scientist Award]

How has the institute managed to cope up with the present pandemic?

CHMS, BSB has been successful in integrating technology in teaching and learning process way back then. We have a strong team of innovative and digital savvy educators who had been educating and teaching fellow educators about various EdTech tools since 2014. Moreover, we are a Microsoft Showcase School and that gave us a leverage in using the right technology for the right cause.

The school has already equipped students with Office 365 account and our secondary students have been using Microsoft Teams for the past two years. Primary students were connected with ClassDojo and Office 365 accounts. Based on the directives of the Brunei Government and Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam we were following remote learning for three months since May. Starting June, we adapted hybrid learning module and from August we went back to our traditional classroom setting.

Though the whole process brought in a large disruption in teaching and learning, we were able to adapt to the ‘new normal’ with effective and efficient actions. Proper planning in adapting right EdTech tools enabled us to conduct effective live lessons using Microsoft Teams. We ensured the type of EdTech tools used by teachers to ease of the burden of students and parents. For Primary school students, recorded lessons were shared in ClassDojo.

Overall, CHMS, BSB was prepared to tackle the challenges that the pandemic imposed on us. There was no lack of learning because all learning methods were made possible with our preparedness with appropriate and students familiar technologies and learning materials. We re-prepare, re-invest and reinforce processes to move forward with this new normal experience.

Where would you place yourself in the future in the field of education?

As the pandemic COVID19 has reshaped the educational landscape, a probing question that has arisen out of this change is the redundancy of Schools. Education will exist and so will Schools. The forms of education might vary from Online Learning, hybrid learning but traditional school-based learning will definitely exists.

As a most sought-after school, I believe that CHMS, BSB will be imparting holistic education to the diverse community of Brunei Darussalam in the future as well. Our school will be a centre where most effective teaching approaches, techniques, and ideologies will be practiced. We will encourage innovations and their adaptation to specific circumstances and assist the creation of a community of parents and teachers who support each other.

We believe in pedagogy, and always enhance teaching and learning with more student-centered approaches. With extending ownership in learning to students, the school has championed gamification where students learn through games. Maintaining a curriculum that is contemporary which allows students to learn with different devices, programs and techniques.

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