In a developing country like India, there is expected to be increasing competition as the horizons of knowledge widen for people and opportunities remain limited.
According to the World Happiness Report 2017, India sits at an abysmal level at 122 out of 155 countries assessed. The report draws attention as one of the fastest growing economies in the world is slowly proving to be a sad place to live. Hence, the need to have a “happiness program” in Indian schools arises in order to create a happy environment from early childhood.
One visible move in this direction is the recent announcement by the Delhi government to launch the “Happiness Program” in public schools for kindergarten to grade VIII students from the next academic term. The Delhi government has formed a team of experts, including teachers and school principals, to prepare a framework for the Happiness Studies Program. This program should be purely activity-based and no formal exams would be organized. However, each child will have a periodic assessment to see the child’s progress using the Happiness Index.
The motive behind launching Happiness Curriculum is to inform people that the purpose of education is not only to continuously push students to achieve good grades, but also to create an environment where a student is. happy, confident and self-aware. Therefore, the need of the hour is to implement the “curriculum for happiness” in schools.
The “happiness index” in schools would involve many distinct but interrelated factors.
First of all, the physical environment, where students are offered a warm, secure and comfortable environment. This includes bright colors; green spaces, green lawns and well-lit classrooms that are conducive to individual instruction as well as group work.
Second, the Curriculum, a carefully constructed curriculum that provides enrichment, self-study, peer learning, and group learning opportunities for students.
Third, and most important, is the faculty which is a means by which they nurture the happiness of the students. The understanding and patience of teachers brings comfort to a child. Fourth, an environment that offers a mix of school and co-school activities that helps the child to benefit from the multiple aspects of entering school.
And finally, to treat the child as an individual with a distinct personality and to cultivate his talents. Schools need to nurture this dimension of a child so that the child benefits from every part of the school.
Economic growth and per capita income are not the only factors that lead to happiness. According to the report, even countries with an aging population and declining economic growth rank much higher than India.
As evidenced by rankings from many countries, the report shows that happiness is the result of building strong social foundations and that in most countries the greatest cause of misery is “mental illness”.
You have to assess the current scenario of how millennials grow up to be the most stressed generation. This poses a threat to the next generation of college students and high school students. If we look at the current scenario, we see an increase in delinquency among schoolchildren (300% according to the National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child).
Headlines like a student killing his junior to postpone his exams or a group of boys beating a classmate to death for a minor problem are just one of the few incidents that have shocked our country. According to data released by the NCRB in 2015, every hour a student commits suicide in India.
Students of the 21st century face many challenges every day, from exam pressure, peer pressure, depression, to psychological factors. They need an environment that makes them happy. Schools should help instill an environment in which students not only learn academically, but also focus on their overall development.
The National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR) has thought of various methods to curb the situation, such as installing CCTV cameras in the premises and launching safety and security awareness campaigns. to control violence in schools. But implementing and monitoring the whole process should take time. Now the task ahead is to take concrete steps to bring the situation under control before it is too late.
Education plays an important role in creating a solid social base for future generations and can help curb the situation. Happiness can act as a catalyst to build social confidence and a healthy lifestyle among students through knowledge-based learning programs.
(Katyal is Deputy Director of Operations at the Global School Foundation and National Director for India and Japan. The opinions expressed here are personal.)