'Happiness curriculum' to be introduced in over 1,000 Delhi govt schools for eight lakh students between Nursery and Class 8

Students of Delhi government schools will have a 45-minute-long period just to focus on how to stay happy. The Delhi government will formally introduce a 'happiness' period in state-run schools from next week, with a special five-minute session of meditation practice, PTI reported.

"The classes covering the happiness curriculum will begin next week. We are also talking to the municipal corporations. If the students of the corporation schools are added, the number of children to be covered under the happiness curriculum will go up to 15-16 lakh," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.

The curriculum, with a focus on meditation and mental exercise, is designed with the aim to make students not only good humans who will spread happiness but also relaxed professionals who will not indulge in corruption. The daily Happiness Class, which will last for 45 minutes, will include mindfulness practice, gratitude, morals and value-based stories and activities.

 Happiness curriculum to be introduced in over 1,000 Delhi govt schools for eight lakh students between Nursery and Class 8

Representational image. News18

The curriculum will be launched for over 1,000 government schools and will help improve the lives of about eight lakh students studying between Nursery and Class 8.

The curriculum involves a daily 45-minute happiness class beginning with mindfulness, followed by a story-telling and activities session.

As the class starts, the students will be given five minutes to settle down and pay attention to the happenings around them, which will be a form of mindfulness.

A set of 20 stories and 40 innovative activities will form part of the curriculum to train the children to think logically and creatively and understand their role in the social system and nature.

Speaking about the programme, Sisodia said, "The effect of this involving 10 lakh students and around 50,000 teachers can be imagined. It is our belief that the modern day problems like terrorism, corruption, and pollution can be solved through schools and a human-centric education."

Sisodia said the teachers should not be concerned about completing the syllabus.

"Do not rush to complete all the stories and activities. The focus should be that the right message sinks in the children," he added.

The three-day orientation programme, involving 18,000 teachers of Delhi government schools, was held to train them about the curriculum.

Another orientation programme for 1,000 principals and officials of the education department will be held on Friday.

Earlier, Sisodia, who is also in-charge of the education department, said the levels of happiness and well-being are going down while stress, anxiety, and depression are increasing.

"It is going to be the most important development in the education system with a focus on good mental health, character, and resilience. It will address the ever-growing concern levels of happiness and well-being," Sisodia told the press on 2 July, when the programme was first unveiled in the state capital by the Dalai Lama.

"A child's mental well-being is important. Happier children learn more, cope better and are much more likely to make the most of their potential," he added. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called it a "landmark day" which will "completely transform the modern education system".

"This should have been done 100-150 years ago. We forgot the real meaning of education. Our education system only generates clerks and failed in making kids better humans," he said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader also lauded the programme and said that India is the only country that can bring together modern education and ancient Indian knowledge, and such an inclusive module at schools will help "deal with the destructive emotions in the world."

Congratulating the Delhi government for its initiative to include 'Happiness curriculum' in its schools, the Dalai Lama said: "Only India has the ability to combine modern education with ancient knowledge which is necessary for the fulfillment of human emotions."

He said such a combination will pave way for physical and mental well being, solving troubles caused due to negative and destructive emotions like anger, hatred, and jealousy.

The programme is the latest in a series of educational reforms brought in by the Aam Aadmi Party government in the Union Territory. Recently, a parents' satisfaction survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said governments of other states too must follow the precedent set by the Delhi government and allocate huge chunks of funds to reform the education system.

"The state governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Rajasthan having thirteen, seven and two districts that, along with NCT of Delhi, make up the NCR, must take a cue from Delhi government and allocate large chunk of their budget to education," the survey conducted by the ASSOCHAM and Social Development Foundation (ASDF) stated.

The industry body interacted with about 3,250 parents in districts falling in NCR whose children are studying in local government schools. The survey was conducted during summer holidays in May-June to ascertain the views of people in general about their level of satisfaction in government schools of their respective districts.

"Almost all the parents were of the view that Delhi government is doing a commendable job for bringing an overall improvement in the school education as every parent wants schools with a good amount of facilities in their own area. Many of them said that through various media reports and views of their relatives and known people they have learnt about Delhi government model of schools that have undergone a metamorphosis of late," the survey said.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2018 01:23:08 IST