One quite major change is that, from now on, mathematics and science will be taught in English from the start of primary school, whereas in the past, Malay was the medium of instruction for the first three years of primary school. Table 3 on page 41 of the SPN21 book published by the Ministry of Education shows this:This is quite a substantial change and it may have a big impact on language usage in Brunei. But what is quite surprising is that there is no discussion of the rationale for this change anywhere in the SPN21 book.
The only relevant material I can find anywhere in the book concerning this issue is the top of page 15, which says:
"SPN21 also addresses concerns on:
- The need to sustain and strengthen performance in Bahasa Melayu
- Low English Language proficiency
- Poor performances in mathematics and the sciences"