India introduces ‘Happiness classes’ for students’ emotional wellbeing
Delhi’s Education Minister Manish Sisodia has come up with a unique way to help students combat academic pressure and stress – Happiness classes! In a country where expectations of teachers and parents are ever increasing while the seats in reputed schools and colleges remain limited, these classes are an effort to shift the country’s academic focus from student achievement to emotional well-being.
“It will address the ever-growing concern – levels of happiness and wellbeing [are] decreasing, while stress, anxiety and depression are increasing,” Sisodia tweeted the day the program launched at the start of the month.
India’s rigid academic environment encourages rote memorization that often leads to cramming — and stress. This structure neglects the development of creative and social skills, Sisodia says. He is among many who say those pressures are linked to India’s high student suicide rate.
In happiness class, there are no textbooks and no exams. During the daily 35-minute lesson, teachers lead students in meditation and creative exercises.