Forum explores pandemic’s impact on educators, students

More and more students have expressed concerns over anxiety and depression, while there have not been many studies done on the mental health issues among students and youth, said Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Brunei Youth Council (BYC) President Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari.

She made these comments as the guest of honour at the virtual forum, ‘Education during the Pandemic: The Growing Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 to Educators and Students’, organised by the BYC, in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month.

The forum, which attracted 400 participants, served to explore how educators and students have been affected by pandemic restrictions, in particular their mental health, as well as to build awareness on their mental health needs and concerns. The forum also addressed the stigmas surrounding mental health issues.

Speaking on the panel were Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Sains College teacher Mohammad Hairol bin Haji Abdul latiff; Chung Hwa Middle School, Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) student Arshia binti Tariq; and motivational speaker Haji Ali Yusri bin Haji Abdul Ghafor.

Psychologist at the Health Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Health (MoH) Siti Nadzirah binti Haji Abdullah moderated the forum.

Mohammad Hairol said it is important for all to strike a balance between working and personal life as well as to reflect on spiritual needs.

Meanwhile, Arshia shared her findings on a survey on students to learn their views on mental health and how it has affected them.

Haji Ali Yusri shared that parents play the biggest role in seeing children through hard times, while there are different ways to communicate with children based on age.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin also attended the forum, joined by Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education (MoE) Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin and government offi cials as well as students and teachers from various educational institutions also attended.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin attending the event, along with Legislative Council member and Brunei Youth Council President Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari as guest of honour, and Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin. PHOTO: BYC