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Delhi: From April 1, survey to see how kids are coping after pandemic

The curriculum does not have any textbooks, and classes are conducted by teachers through the handbook. Anil Teotia from the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) said the handbook is almost ready.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: March 21, 2022 1:46:26 am
An English version of the updated Happiness Curriculum teachers’ handbook will also be ready for dissemination on April 1. (Archive)

Taking its flagship ‘Happiness Curriculum’ a step further, the Delhi government is coming out with an English version of the updated happiness curriculum handbook for teachers which will be ready for dissemination on April 1. Also starting next Friday is the survey on the socio-emotional status of children after the pandemic across Delhi government schools.

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The curriculum does not have any textbooks, and classes are conducted by teachers through the handbook. Anil Teotia from the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) said the handbook is almost ready.

Director of Education Himanshu Gupta said: “This is important since private schools are showing a lot of interest in adopting the Happiness Curriculum. They are looking to adopt all three mindset curricula and we are going to get a lot of feedback on it.”

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Meanwhile, to mark the International Day of Happiness, government schools in the city will have a week of ‘happiness’ activities — from ‘Mindfulness Monday’ to ‘Expressive Saturday’ — starting Monday. Children up to class VIII will be engaged in different activities on different days of the week.

For instance, on Monday, students will be encouraged to conduct and lead mindfulness sessions in their classrooms; they will be asked to write, draw or recite a thank you note to the people they are grateful to; on Wednesday, teachers will create a wall of kindness on which students will write their act of kindness or someone else’s act of kindness towards them and the feelings they had experienced at that time.

During a session on the way forward for the Happiness Curriculum, attended by policy makers, officials, teachers and heads of schools on Sunday, Deputy Director Education Nandini Maharaj said: “Happiness Curriculum was our first step in this direction, but we do not see social emotional learning through the perspective of a single curriculum, we are trying to see it through a holistic perspective. For example, we are doing a survey to get feedback on social emotional learning and mental health, on the basis of which we can take this policy forward.”

The survey will be conducted jointly with the Planning Department from April 1, and those who will be doing data collection for the survey are currently being trained.

Said Teotia, “We are understanding how in our setup, this kind of programme is required where students can express themselves in the way they’d like, which can keep children healthy, especially emotionally. Today (March 20) is International Day of Happiness, and in the (World Happiness) report, we are in the 136th place out of 146 countries. This is an alarming situation. We might have gone up three places from last time but there is a lot of work to be done here.”

Students, meanwhile, had their own feedback to give on the classes: Ayushmaan and Lakshmi, both class VIII students, said that noises in the school can sometimes distract them during mindfulness sessions.

Many of them had practised mindfulness activities at home while schools had been closed. “During lockdown, when we didn’t have classes for the first few months, we were very worried… We knew that we’ll pass, but how would we get ahead without studying? I was so stressed that I would get headaches. But when happiness classes started online, and we did mindfulness activities, the stress reduced,” said Varsha, a class VIII student.

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