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Happiness curriculum in Delhi schools to now have class- specific book

The new handbooks will be tried out between April 12 and May 10 in the schools spread across all the districts of Delhi in areas like West Vinod Nagar, Yamuna Vihar, Padam Nagar, Khera Khurd, Shalimar Bagh and Nangloi.

education Updated: Apr 12, 2019 13:53 IST
Kainat Sarfaraz
Kainat Sarfaraz
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Happiness curriculum,Happiness curriculum in Delhi schools
Till now the curriculum comprised of a set of three books — first book for class 1and 2, second book for class 3, 4, 5 and third book for class 6,7,8.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

Delhi government’s flagship programme, Happiness Curriculum, is all set to introduce class-specific handbooks in 44 government schools. Launched last year, the curriculum will now be taught from eight handbooks designed for each class as a part of a one-month pilot project.

The new handbooks will be tried out between April 12 and May 10 in the schools spread across all the districts of Delhi in areas like West Vinod Nagar, Yamuna Vihar, Padam Nagar, Khera Khurd, Shalimar Bagh and Nangloi.

Till now the curriculum comprised of a set of three books — first book for class 1and 2, second book for class 3, 4, 5 and third book for class 6,7,8.

Under the curriculum, nursery and kindergarten students were taught twice a week while students from classes 1 to 8 spent one period a day to engage in meditation, storytelling, and activity sessions.

While the old handbooks included 20 stories and 20 activities each, separate class-wise curriculum means an increase in the number of stories and activities.

The curriculum includes story-telling and activities, followed by question-answer sessions.

According to members of the Happiness Curriculum committee, the revised curriculum has reduced story-based questions laying more emphasis on reflective questions.

“Questions related to the story were produced similar kind of answers from the children. Also, the same children were answering them. So, we changed that and want to ensure that every student answers in the class.”

The official said reflective questions would help students to introspect and be more mindful of their surroundings. Narrating an example, he said that after the story “bada aadmi”, which revolves around a son realizing the sacrifices his parents make for him, students are asked to go back home and think about the things their parents do for them.

Apart from the everyday sessions on mindfulness, mindful thinking and breathing, students will also be introduced to “mindful walking and eating” as a part of the revised curriculum. “Students should know how to appreciate food and taste and also the hard work that goes behind it,” the official said.

Observers have been appointed in these schools to collect feedback from these pilot classes and submit their recommendations for the final curriculum.

“We are going to check the language, immediate impact, and short and long-term learning outcomes. Assessing if the story is connecting with the framework or not is important,” Rajesh Kumar, Chairperson of the Happiness Committee, said.

Pointing towards the freshly arrived set of books including Living Values Activities for Young Adults by Diane Tillman, Kumar said extensive reading has gone behind setting the curriculum and if even one story doesn’t achieve the desired objective, the committee will look for better alternatives.

Former principal and educational consultant Sunanda Grover, who was involved in developing the framework, said the focus of the curriculum should on teacher training. “A few teachers, out of habit, would ask students what they had learnt from a particular story or get into a preaching mode and this has to be done away with. The child has to think and learn from their own reflections. So we have strengthened the dos and don’ts for teachers to avoid any judgment on the answers,” she said.

First Published: Apr 12, 2019 13:53 IST