Connection is about more than just data

Recent data released from the Health Ministry has shown that referrals for mental health support in Malaysia during the first 4 months of 2021, has surpassed what was required for the whole of 2020. Now, as we are in the midst of our third lockdown, we are facing an increased pandemic fatigue with a reduced tolerance for a resilient response.

Our students- youth at their most important yet vulnerable period of development , are spending increasing amounts of time isolated from school and peers. Many relying on the internet to keep connected to others. Ironically, research has found that heavy social media use was less of an opportunity to reconnect, and can led to greater loneliness for some. It seems that even when we solve a data connection, it is not a quick fix for feelings of isolation.

Over the last 15 months, much thought and attention has been paid to ensuring that students in Malaysian schools have access to data and devices to continue their education. And rightly so. With school closures continuing for the foreseeable future, access to technology is a quick and tangible solution that will ensure that learning continues. However, as we all push through renewed restrictions of MCO 3.0, there is also an urgent need to nurture connections beyond surface access to technology, as our students, and teachers, face prolonged isolation that will have a devastating effect on academic outcomes for many years to come.

Educators need to quickly rethink how they can keep students motivated, stay connected with their students and also enable young people work with others. On a similar level, School Leaders need to find ways for their staff to keep a social connection or risk teachers becoming burned out and detached.

Remote and e-learning does not need to be individual. We have fresh and innovative ways for a digital re-connect. Find out more about helping students connect at a distance, or understand more about how to identify young people who are struggling, by contacting us through [email protected]… All our offerings take place synchronously, allowing for discussion, dialogue, and much needed connection for all participants. Afterall, the human connection is what is at the heart of education.