Muscat: Indian Schools Oman will introduce a new supplementary Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, termed ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in all 21 institutions across the Sultanate, said the Board of Directors,
As a pilot project, the Happiness Curriculum will be implemented in a few selected classes across all Indian Schools in the Sultanate with effect from January 2021, with one period per week.
“There is a need to redefine the purpose of education as more than merely improving the student’s scholastic performance. More than ever before, it is now essential to raise and prepare students as future citizens who are emotionally intelligent, mindful, and empathetic, firmly rooted in their identity,” the board said in a statement.
The Happiness Curriculum is a crucial first step in this direction. Introduction of Happiness Curriculum in Schools will enable students to be aware of their emotions and strive for optimal emotional health, as a member of their families, school, society, and the world at large. The intended outcome is to enhance students’ level of self-awareness, mindfulness and deepen learning to lead a happier and meaningful life.
“The Happiness Curriculum is an endeavor to guide the attention of students towards exploring, experiencing and expressing emotions; we hope to enable positive emotions to be experienced not just momentarily but also in deeper and sustainable forms as well. This can create a paradigm shift where a learner moves from searching happiness externally from senses to be able to ensure it within oneself through learning and awareness and ensure continuity of values,” noted Dr. Baby Sam Samuel, Chairman, Board of Director, Indian Schools in Oman.
A holistic curriculum not only promotes development in cognition, language, numeracy and the arts but also addresses the wellbeing and happiness of the students. The Happiness curriculum shall focus on emotional intelligence striving to bring about emotional literacy skills and at the same time, teach children to identify and boost positive emotions such as happiness and well-being. It shall also give a huge emphasis on co-scholastic skills of mindfulness, self-awareness, critical thinking, reflection, and inner stability.
This SEL syllabus is designed in line with international practices in this regard and shall be age-appropriate. Teacher’s handbook for Happiness Curriculum Classes includes a description of activities, stories and activities with reflective questions. Like any other subject, students will have a dedicated period for the curriculum.
The overall purpose of Happiness Curriculum is to support students in their journey to sustainable happiness through engagement in meaningful and reflective stories and activities. Regular Happiness Curriculum classes will enable students to reflect on the relationship between their feelings, thoughts, behavior and their impact on themselves, family, society around them and the natural environment.
It is sincerely hoped that with this effort, the Indian Schools will be able to make the education system an enabler for the all-round development of students along with the knowledge, skills and well-being to find their identity and purpose in life.