Jathika Jana Balawegaya MP Dr. Harini Amarasuriya appealed to the College of Psychiatrist and the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) to take the issue of mental health and psycho social well-being in the educational sector on board and to intervene immediately to address the critical mental health issues that might seem to be developing in education sector.
Dr. Amarasuriya requested all teachers, lecturers and students in schools and universities to be sensitive on mental health and also to be especially sensitive about the social media role on suicide, depression and other mental health issues.
Addressing the media yesterday (22), she lamented that the recent death of a student of University of Peradeniya was the third suicide incident reported from the university in past few weeks.
She said that with the economic crisis in the country, some major issues have emerged in the education sector. She also claimed that students were facing difficulties in studies since the classes were conducted online due to the Covid -19.
Currently, students are facing hardships due to the economic crisis in the country, she stressed.
“Education has become something that pressures the parents, teachers and students. Education is not only exchanging information or casually sitting for the examinations. Social studies, personality development lessons must be provided through education. However, the education sector has also collapsed into a crisis and trust has also being broken,” Amarasuriya stressed.
“It is reported that students are attending school without having meals and in some areas students are fainting at the assembly. We got to know that teachers are donating their food to the children,” she added.
The Government is not showing any concern as to how the children are supposed to study in such an environment, she alleged.
She said due to the economic crisis the teachers, parents, students, university lecturers are also pressured and that has a major effect on the educational system.
“The Government is talking how they are going to reform the educational system while the whole sector is facing so many difficulties. The Government should be prioritising on solving these issues first,” she stressed.
The mental health issues and the psycho-social crisis should be given a wide attention inside the educational system. The Government should understand the issues and intervene to solve these issues that youth of our country face, she said.
BY Aloka Kasturiarachchi