Delhi’s happiness curriculum gets featured in Harvard’s International Education Week
Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia was invited as a guest speaker on an online panel discussion on the happiness curriculum of the Delhi government by the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) during its International Education Week.
During the discussion titled, “systematic social-emotional learning of the happiness curriculum”, held on Tuesday, Sisodia said the Delhi government wanted to design a curriculum for students that would prepare them to become lifelong learners. He said, “Happiness curriculum is not a value education class that preaches moral values to students. Instead, it focuses on developing the mindset of the students to adopt values in their everyday attitude and behaviour.”
Sisodia said education is the only way to reform society and politicians should work as facilitators of education. “Education is the only tool available that can reform society, and give us a society that we all dream of. Education, globally, is being used to fill unemployment gaps and lessen poverty, but it still doesn’t address more human problems that society faces.”
“So far, successful education models around the world have been producing professionally sound people, but not emotionally sound people. Happiness curriculum works towards building a confident and a holistic mindset towards caste, creed, and religion so students become more self-aware and open towards each other,” he said.
Professor Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation professor of practice in international education at HGSE, praised Sisodia’s vision and said the happiness curriculum was path-breaking, and impressive in tackling the huge challenge of building capacity of teachers, and enforcing happiness classes in all Delhi government schools. “In a world that is changing very rapidly, with an uncertain future with this pandemic being a reminder, it’s important to question the deep purposes of schools and education,” he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi introduced the ‘happiness curriculum’ in its schools from July 2018. Under the curriculum, nursery and kindergarten students twice a week and students from classes 1 to 8 spend once daily engage in meditation, storytelling, and activity sessions. The curriculum includes storytelling and activities, followed by question-and-answer sessions.