Indian Schools are Teaching Happiness

The happiness curriculum teaches children mindfulness.

Children learning about nature.


Childhood should be full of friends, play, and happiness. But when children are isolated and without their peer group like during the pandemic, they may need a helping hand to get back on track. That’s why schools in India are teaching happiness.

The lessons from the pandemic have shown that it is critical to train kids to be resilient and balanced, reported India Today. That’s why schools needed to prepare the children to get back to in-person schooling and transition to normalcy. They needed a curriculum that could train students to identify emotions and ways to channel them, Harneet Singh, principal of the Podar International School in  Ludhiana told India Today.

The happiness curriculum
The happiness curriculum was originally launched by the Indian government in 2018, and focused on mental health, wellbeing, and fostering positive peer connections for elementary school children. The curriculum included mindfulness sessions that incorporated storytelling and other activities.

“[The] happiness curriculum is a success, and schools should imbibe it. The objectives include developing self-awareness, mindfulness, critical thinking, and helping children apply life skills to deal with stress,” said Shikha Banerjee the principal of the Seth Anandram Jaipuria School in Kanpur.

The idea was to keep the students active with a variety of activities including sports, nature, art, music, and dance in addition to academics. “During the early part of the sessions, students should participate in a blend of structured and unstructured conversations with their teachers and peers as this helps them feel connected and supported,” said Banerjee.

This type of happiness training that includes physical activities helps children cope with loneliness or the absence of friends. It was exactly what the students needed when they returned to in person schooling.

Mindfulness is the cornerstone of wellness and balance
The schoolchildren in Delhi – from kindergarten to grade eight in 1,030 government schools – take part in  the happiness curriculum. reported the undefined. The students have a 35-minute class every day that is designed to strengthen the foundation of happiness and to promote wellbeing.

Mindfulness is the cornerstone of the happiness curriculum and its biggest beauty is that every day 16 lakh [1.6 million] children in Delhi start their studies in school with mindfulness. It has come as a turning point in the lives of students studying in Delhi schools and has relieved children from stress and increased their focus in studies,”  deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said during the Mindful Education Awards 2021 program.

The award is an initiative to recognize and support the efforts of schools in creating a mentally and physically healthy environment for the development of children through teaching mindfulness.

While mindfulness has sometimes been limited to meditation, the happiness  curriculum illustrates that the practice has been used to focus on daily life and to aid in the development of wellbeing and resilience in children and adults alike.

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