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Delhi’s students are finally finding happiness in schools. Rohan Rai, 10, is not stressed any longer by the thought of seeing his teacher after going through the morning assembly routine at this government school in central Delhi.
In fact, Rohan and his classmates are thrilled and excited to be in the classroom. They no more begin their day by scratching their heads to solve sums or struggling to get the grammar right.
Instead, they relax and meditate in what is termed as the “Happiness Class”, introduced in Delhi’s government schools last year. A typical Happiness Class starts with students rubbing their hands and putting them on the eyes to relax. A little bit of meditation follows. Children are themselves feeling the sounds of their surroundings.
At peace with themselves, they then go into discussions and exchange their own ideas about anything under the sun. The 45 minutes pass with happy faces all around — and it is now time to take out books.
“Initially, I thought this will be a new subject. However, this turned out to be an interesting session where we not only do meditation and listen to stories but also take part in various activities,” said the Class 6 student. The Happiness Curriculum of the Delhi government is helping students to change their attitude towards studies.
According to Rohan, during the Happiness Class, the students focus on things they would otherwise skip. “We meditate and focus on sounds — like our heartbeat and sounds in nature,” he said.
“The period begins with a few minutes of mindfulness practice, followed by a story or activity and reflective discussions. Each one of us is given a chance to reflect and express our thoughts about the story or activity.
“We are asked to draw or write about whatever we are feeling or like. We are also asked to spend time with our friends and family and express our emotions to them.” Students indulge in joyful exercises, indoor games, active enquiry, reflective conversations, storytelling, guided practices for mindfulness, group discussions and situation based role-play and skits.
The new and unique curriculum was launched by Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia with an aim to develop self-awareness and mindfulness amongst students.
“Its aim was to inculcate the skill of critical thinking and inquiry among the students,” said an Education Department official. Why this curriculum? The official said the challenges in the school system had gone beyond learning standards and academic results.
“A research conducted on suicides in India has revealed that in addition to the challenges of learning and achieving, students come to school with stresses arising from many sources including family disturbances, peer conflicts, socio-cultural components and vulnerabilities to physical and mental health risk factors.”
The research revealed 26 suicides were reported every 24 hours due to issues including drugs, broken families, fights with friends and break-ups. “Prolonged exposure to such stresses leads to long term physiological and emotional disturbances, which severely hinders a child’s learning and development.”
According to the Delhi government, the Happiness Curriculum Framework was designed following the guiding principles given by the National Curriculum Framework (NCERT, 2005).
“Children learn in a variety of ways — through experience, making and doing things, experimentation, reading, discussions, questioning, listening, thinking and reflecting, and expressing oneself in speech, movement or writing, both individually and with others,” said the official from the Directorate of Education, Delhi.
Over 10 lakh students between Class 1 and 8 and about 50,000 teachers share the 45-minute Happiness Class. According to Nikhil, a maths teacher in the government school, these activities help students to increase concentration. “The results may take some time but for development of students, these activities are important,” he said.
The reflections and discussions will encourage students to utilise the skills in their life, he said, adding that the Curriculum moves a step ahead from the textbook based learning for an overall development of children.
“The students have an active participation in the class as the methodology of instruction is through activities, stories and discussions. “The curriculum was designed to enable students to communicate effectively” he said.
The classes will also enable learners to apply life skills to deal with stressful and conflicting situations around them, he said. In just one year into existence, the Happiness Curriculum has gathered attention from not just within India but also abroad.
Last year, when Afghanistan’s Acting Education Minister Mohammad Mirwais Balkhi attended one Happiness Class, he said he wished to have a similar concept in his country. Education Ministers and officials from several states in India too have visited the classes with a view to introduce similar classes. (IANS)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord