UK school to offer lessons in happiness | india | Hindustan Times
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UK school to offer lessons in happiness

London, Apr 17 (AFP) One of Britain's leading fee-paying schools is to offer classes on happiness to combat the malaise in society caused by materialism and celebrity obsession, its headteacher announced today.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 21:14 IST

One of Britain's leading fee-paying schools is to offer classes on happiness to combat the malaise in society caused by materialism and celebrity obsession, its headteacher announced today.

"We are introducing classes on happiness," said Anthony Seldon, master of Wellington College, in Crowthorne, Berkshire, west of London.

"We have been focusing too much on academics and missing something far more important."

A psychologist will oversee a pilot project teaching "happiness lessons" -- or "well-being" as it is being called -- from the start of the next academic year.

Pupils aged 14 to 16 will be given one lesson a week, learning skills such as how to manage relationships, physical and mental health, negative emotions and how to achieve one's ambitions.

The college's religious education staff will teach the course as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, conventional RE classes, said Seldon, who is also a political commentator and author.

"To me, the most important job of any school is to turn out young men and women who are happy and secure -- more important that the latest bulletin from the Department for Education about whatever," explained Seldon.

"Celebrity, money and possessions are too often the touchstones for teenagers and yet these are not where happiness lies.

"Our children need to know that as societies become richer, they don't become happier -- a fact regularly shown by social science research.