SK Putrajaya Presint, a primary school in Putrajaya, Malaysia has been declared the winner of the MYR 472,100 ( USD 100,000) AIA Healthiest Schools Competition.

The young children developed a trailblazing new app to support students’ mental wellbeing

The AIA Healthiest Schools Competition – founded last year by AIA Group – is Asia’s most prestigious prize for schools transforming student health outcomes.

SK Putrajaya Presint 11(1), which triumphed over 2,300 schools from participating countries across Asia-Pacific, was announced the winner at a ceremony in Bali,Indonesia attended by Melati Wijsen, Founder of YOUTHTOPIA & AIA Ambassador.

Founded in the wake of the COVID pandemic, the AIA Healthiest Schools Competition fosters active lifestyles, mental wellbeing and healthy eating habits among primary and secondary school students in Asia at a time when it has never been more important.

The unique programme allows inspirational schools to showcase their impact and success, giving them a platform to share their best practices so that all schools across Asia can transform their efforts to promote health and wellness.

Mohd Saharudin bin Setapa, Project Leader and Teacher, SK Putrajaya Presint 11(1) :
“I’m excited and happy to be selected as the winner of the AIA Healthiest Schools competition. Many thanks to AIA for selecting our school. This award is proof of our hard work and making our school the healthiest in our state and our country. I would like to thank my Principal, the teachers, parents and students who contributed to the ‘HELPIE’ app project. Also thanks to my innovation team who spent a lot of time prototyping the app. We hope that in the future we can share the impact of the project, not only in Malaysia but also to other countries. We hope we can use this project to create more healthy living and a better life for our community and our school.

Lee Yuan Siong, Chief Executive and President of AIA, said:
“Young people today are facing a range of health issues. Lifestyle diseases are now the primary cause of mortality in Asia across all ages, and the rate has been increasing over many years. Inactivity, poor diet, stress and environmental hazards are all contributing to the health challenges facing our young people. This is why we are so passionate about the AIA Healthiest Schools programme and its ability to help young people in Asia live healthier, longer, better lives.

“I firmly believe in the power of education to shape a healthier future for our children. To all the teachers and education officials, thank you for the tireless work that you do every day.”

Melati Wijsen, Founder of YOUTHTOPIA and AIA Ambassador, said:
“Young people hold the future in their hands. They are the changemakers who will go on to tackle the world’s greatest challenges from pollution to climate change.

“We must empower our young people to take on these challenges. And one of the most important things we can do to achieve this is to raise students healthy in both body and mind and equipped to face the world they will inherit.

“That is why I support the AIA Healthiest Schools Competition. And that is why I congratulate SK Putrajaya Presint 11(1) on its inspirational work that will guide so many young people to a better future.”

The app helps students to become more aware of their stress levels and understand their feelings and emotions through features such as games where students can look at flashcards and describe their emotions, a health survey, a stress measurement tool, and a health campaign.

HELPIE was created in response to high levels of student stress. Last year, the school’s counsellors conducted a survey that found 34% of students from Year 1 to Year 6 always felt stressed, and 47% of them had difficulty identifying their own feelings and emotions. Students said they were worried about homework and they felt stressed about relationships with their peers at school and felt anxious about being isolated. Teachers said that most students felt stressed because they couldn’t adapt well to a classroom situation or deal with the transition into adolescence.

The school now plans to share HELPIE with other schools to help tackle stress and improve mental well-being amongst students beyond its own walls.

A short film all about the school’s story including interviews with teachers and students can be viewed here. Journalists may embed the video in articles and may take any quotes they like from the film.

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