Workshop in Temburong raises awareness on bullying

|     Azlan Othman     |

IN A health survey called ‘The Global School-Based Health Survey (GSHS) 2014’ conducted by the Health Promotion Centre, Ministry of Health among 2,599 students aged 13 to 17 from government and private schools throughout Brunei Darussalam, it was found that local teens are involved in several aspects of risky lifestyle practices, including bullying.

The survey also showed that 21.1 per cent of adolescents were bullied once or more, of which 22.0 per cent were male and 20.1 per cent were female.

The Department of Schools, Ministry of Education, also conducted a survey which found a similar pattern corresponding to the results of the GSHS survey.

Accordingly, the Health Promotion Centre believes that it is important to intervene, to reduce and change the risk behaviours (bullying issues) among students before they become more prevalent.

Among the initiatives to address this is the ‘Free Brunei from Bullying’ workshop for primary and secondary schools, where parents, teachers and student representatives come together to discuss issues related to bullying, as well as preventive measures.

Students during a presentation. – PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN

The workshop is one of the strategies identified in the Free Brunei from Bullying Campaign (3B), conducted by the Mental Health Strategic Unit at the Health Promotion Centre, with the support of the Department of Schools and the Royal Brunei Police Force. Yesterday, the workshop was held at Rataie Primary School in Mukim Bokok in Temburong District.

Nearly 100 parents, teachers and student representatives attended the workshop. The session saw information on the latest bullying issues being presented.

Basic training in project management was also provided to the parents, teachers and student representatives, as they will be responsible for disseminating and carrying out the 3B awareness campaign in schools across the country.

The participants were also given the opportunity to present their ideas on formulating the 3B campaign, whereby the best ideas would be used as the campaign delivery method in schools across the country.

The 3B campaign will also be addressed jointly by the government and private sector sectors, as well stakeholders which include national youth groups, in order to boost more public awareness on the negative consequences of bullying.

The workshop concluded with the presentation of posters to the workshop participants by Head of Mental Health Strategies and Co-Chairman of the 3B Campaign Nor Syahmun bin Haji Matassan.