A year ago, the AAP led Govt in Delhi launched the Happiness Curriculum, which involves a “happiness period” of 45 minutes and five minutes of meditation before each class. It includes meditation, value education, and mental exercises in conventional education curriculum.
The curriculum has been designed and prepared by a team of 40 Delhi government teachers, educators and volunteers over a period of six months. The aim of this is to pave the way for physical and mental health well-being, solving problems caused due to negative and destructive emotions like anger, hatred and jealousy. What it teaches is “poornata” - emphasises the interconnectedness of the Core Values like love, gratitude, integrity, courage, kindness, trust, focus ; commitment, respect and humility and happiness.
The Classes from 6th to 8th have four sections to their Happiness Class - ‘Mindfulness’, which includes mindful listening, sensory awareness, among others ; ‘Storytelling,’ which includes 20 stories, each story with its objective clearly spelt out on top of the page; ‘Activities’ aimed at teaching the meaning of happiness, competence; and ‘expression.’
One year later, it looks like this curriculum is indeed life changing. In the ongoing two-week Happiness Festival in these schools, students have come forward to tell how this curriculum has changed their attitude towards life for the better. Helping parents, less fighting, and greeting elders were among the few answers given by the children who said they wanted newer stories in the curriculum. In some students it has helped bring down anger.
Creating doctors, engineers and officers is not enough. We need to create happy human beings first. And it is simply great that Delhi Govt schools have taken this initiative and are ushering in a new wave. Wonder why other state-run Govt schools cannot emulate Delhi. Like the developed countries, even in India, hope a day comes when there is a clamor to get admitted into Govt schools, showing the private sector their true worth.