OVER 100,000 Year Five and Six pupils are at risk of suffering from sadness, depression and lack of interest in their studies, says the Education Ministry.
It said 818,430 Year Five and Year Six primary school pupils participated in a mental health screening between June and August.
“Based on the screening, 87.45% of the pupils did not show signs of prolonged feelings of sad- ness, depression or lack of inte-rest in performing additional work.
“However, 12.55% of the students were categorised as being at risk of having such issues,” the ministry said in a written response to a question by Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom (Pakatan-Tampin).
The ministry said the screening was part of a joint effort with the Health Ministry to keep tabs on the psychological welfare of pupils.
“The ‘Healthy Mind in School Under the New Normal’ programme aims to implement intervention measures while managing student emotions during the post Covid-19 pandemic period.
“The mental health screening was done to allow for early detection of pupils who have emotional issues,” the ministry said.
Among several measures that will be taken to assist the affected pupils are counselling and introducing relaxation and mindfulness techniques to help them cope.
Consultations will also be held with parents to help them deal with problems affecting their children.
The ministry also said that 1,737,755 students from Remove to Form Six classes in the country underwent similar screenings, and it was found that the main issues affecting them were anxiety and depression.
The ministry said intervention is required for students showing early signs of anxiety or depression, based on the modules prepared by the Education and Health ministries.
The Education Ministry said that intervention measures are aimed at guiding the affected students to better manage their emotions and stress.
For students suffering signs of emotional instability or serious depression, the ministry said school authorities would discuss the matter with the affected student’s parents to seek expert mental healthcare.