Creating ‘Happy Schools’

Off late in the process of updating myself with the happenings in the educational world I just searched “Modern education is ………….” and the automatic answers were bookish, scary, creating clever devils etc. and with further surprise when I punched “School is for………….” I got the answers – Fools, chumps, losers, nerds with learning as the last suggestion. This surprise gave way to shock when the automatic answers for the search “School gives me……” were depression, anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts……

With all the blindness in the mind I started searching for some latest mobile phones and gadgets. It was then I realised the reason of such answers by google! We are crazy for updating technology but we haven’t cared to update our education system to match the demands of the rapidly changing world. We are still catering to the age-old education system which was designed for the industrial age and nothing has been added to encounter the information age and that indeed is a big challenge!

When we accept children in Nursery we are not sure what the scene will be when the child reaches class 12 and further into the job market. We do not know what kind of jobs will be available at that time or what will be the business model in that era.Yet,we believe that we are preparing them to face all the challenges!

The million-dollar question is,“What to do? And How to do?”

Focusing on the challenges, availability of the resources and limitation of the autonomy the CAP (Choithram Academic Plan) came into existence which works on the ideology of “Happy School”with People, Process and Places the basic constituents where learning is fun, joy and interesting not fear, boredom and stress.

Where, People enjoy Friendship & relationship in school community. We focus on Positive teacher attitudes & attributes. We inculcate respect for diversity & differences, positive & collaborative values & practices. Also we focus on Enhancement of skills & competencies.

Where, Process is Reasonable & fair work level exists. We emphasize on Teamwork & collaborative spirit. Our teaching methodology involves Fun and engaging teaching & learning approaches in order to develop Learner freedom, creativity & engagement, sense of achievement & accomplishment. We provide Useful, relevant and engaging learning content for mental wellbeing & stress management.

The Place of Learning is filled with Warm & friendly learning environment. The Open & green learning & playing space excites students to come to school regularly. We develop Positive discipline and make students aware about the importance of Good health, sanitation & nutrition. We lay stress on Authority based on love not fear with Parental engagement in learning.

Under CAP the learning design is modified with higher emphasis on application of knowledge in the real world. Behavioural Objectives are given equal space with the content. Opportunities for self- learning are provided for better learning.

A pilot project on Flip classroom has been initiated in grade 5 in Science and Social Science. The learning resources are provided to students following the self- learning approach where learning is constructed by children and facilitated by teachers. 24 students in each subject are randomly chosen and the learning is evidently visible in children.

The basic need of the society is love, respect and acceptance of regional differences. The Inter Cultural Learning Curriculum introduced in the Middle School is bringing the communities together. The students are exposed to the culture of one state and one country in each term. In the 1st term we have completed Rajasthan, Maharashtra and West Bengal. At global level the students learnt the culture of Romania, Japan and South Africa.

States of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and Tamil Nadu will be covered in the 2nd term along with the countries – Malaysia, Argentina and Russia.

In the era of globalization, international dimension has been made the integral part of the curriculum.

The School is under CCTV surveillance for safety of the students and School App and Facebook page has been created to update about the happenings in the school. Parents are requested to download the Choithram app from Google play store and like the WebChoithram Facebook page to remain updated.

What is needed today is ‘Empowering young minds, inculcating sense of belongingness and team spirit by honing their innate potential in a positive, safe and welcoming environment’as laid forth in our Vision Statement.Further our Mission Statement encapsulates, ‘We aim to create a joyful, friendly atmosphere in a stimulating environment, where learning is a pleasurable activity and the flame of positivism is kindled to bring about an integrated individual who has a strong belief in himself.’

“Let’s not care about the exam marks…… care about children…… children should come to school because they enjoy being at school…… a place where they feel happy”

Lelio Spiteri, Principal, Gozo Primary School, Malta

With all these and much more to happen,I am confident that with your support we will be able to provide education for man-making and character building.

 Rajesh Awasthi