How Teachers Enable School Students to be Resilient in Times of Ranau Earthquake

Page: 9-19

Soon Singh A/L Bikar Singh and Balan Rathakrishnan

Faculty of Psychology and Education

University Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia

The Ranau Earthquake that struck on 5, June 2015 was a new disaster in Sabah and caused many Sabahan in panic. The unpredicted disaster also caused serious impact on all aspects of life in Sabah. The earthquake has caused severe damage to ten primary schools and eight secondary schools in the vicinity of the epicenter; although no casualties were reported. However, the disaster has passing deep psychological effects among students. In this study, we examine how school teachers enabled student to be resilient during and after the disaster. Based on the interviews of two elementary and two high school students it was revealed that most of the teachers used WhatsApp to support resilience during and after the earthquake. Interviews with two primary and two secondary school teachers revealed there two main reason for them to communicate with students namely, delivering emotional aid and monitoring their stress. Based on student interviews, five content categories of emotional support were identified: caring, reassuring, emotion sharing, belonging, and distracting. The main contribution of this study is social media can be used as spontaneously and proactive tool to support students resilience during and after the earthquake trauma

Keywords: earthquake, resilience, WhatsApp, emotional support

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