NEW DELHI, India, 2 July 2018
The Delhi government on Monday launched a ‘Happiness Curriculum’ for its school students, with the Dalai Lama gracing the occasion and saying that India can lead the world by uniting modern and ancient knowledge and help it overcome “negative emotions” of mankind.
Launching the curriculum for students of nursery up to Class 8, Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the occasion “historic”.
Congratulating the Delhi government for its initiative to include ‘Happiness curriculum’ in its schools, the Dalai Lama said “only India has the ability to combine modern education with ancient knowledge which is necessary for fulfilment of human emotions.”
He said such a combination will pave the way for physical and mental well-being, solving troubles caused due to negative and destructive emotions like anger, hatred and jealousy.
The Dalai Lama called for revival of the ancient Indian knowledge in the country of its origin and its subsequent spread across the world, including the countries following Buddhism.
“By reviving this ancient knowledge, India can become the modern Guru,” he said.
Addressing the gathering, Kejriwal termed the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ the third stage of reforms in the education sector initiated by his government after focusing on infrastructure development and motivation of teachers at the government schools.
“Education is our topmost priorities. The Centre and other state governments should give one year, focusing on education at a war footing,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that there was a need to “overhaul” the present education system that has not been able to produce “good human being” and added that ‘Happiness Curriculum’ was a “solid step” towards this aim.
Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge of Education Department of the Delhi government, Manish Sisodia, who conceived the curriculum, asserted that the experiment might one day spread across the country and the world as well.
He said that the curriculum will involve a ‘Happiness’ period of 45 minutes for all students studying in nursery up to Class 8 at all the Delhi government schools. Each class will begin with a 5-minute meditation practice.
“The effect of this involving 10 lakh students and around 50,000 teachers can be imagined. It is our belief that modern-day problems like terrorism, corruption, and pollution can be solved through schools and a human-centric education,” Sisodia said.
The ‘Happiness Curriculum’ including meditation, value education, and mental exercises, was designed and prepared by a team of 40 Delhi government teachers, educators and volunteers over a period of six months, he said.
Besides the ministers of the Delhi government, a large number of teachers and officials of the Education Directorate of the Delhi government attended the function.