Starting from the next academic session, Delhi government schools will teach a “happiness curriculum” to students from nursery till Class VIII, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a ceremony to award meritorious students and outstanding schools, Mr. Sisodia said while the government can say that students from its schools will never go hungry, it cannot guarantee that the children will grow up to be happy. He added that he believed “happiness can be taught”.
“The Delhi government has commissioned a team of experts, including government school teachers, to prepare a framework for the happiness curriculum. The entire curriculum will be purely activity-based and no formal examinations will be conducted on it,” he said.
But, he added, the children’s progress will be assessed periodically using a “happiness index”.
“At a time when our neighbour Bhutan is formulating policies to ensure a high Happiness Index for its citizens, by building an activity-based happiness curriculum for children studying in our schools, we can not only help enhance their personality but also influence the direction in which we are heading as a society and nation,” he said.
Mr. Sisodia also said that there was need to use science and technology for the welfare of people and to preserve the environment. He announced that from next year, two more award categories will be added — an award for the most active eco-club and for the greenest school.
Meanwhile, many students who received awards on Wednesday said they were able to score good by studying on their own.
Seema Bhuyan, who received an award for scoring the highest marks in Class XII, said: “I tried to make my basic concepts as clear as possible by referring to secondary texts. Since I studied at a government school, the teachers did not pay much attention to students. I struggled with Hindi as I have difficulty reading it and I had to work harder in that subject.”
Yatharth Rajput, who received an award for the first position in the zonal category, talked his struggle to attain high marks in Class XII.
He said: “I struggled with academics till Class X and decided to work harder from the next year. I set certain goals and took tuitions to achieve them. My classmates and I formed a study group, and helped each other with our problems.”
Another awardee, Anant Yadav said he used to take tuitions after school to score well.
“The main difficulty I faced was time management. With school and tuitions, it was sometimes difficult to keep track of all that I was studying but I got used to it eventually,” he said.