Hyderabad: Schools in the city have started organising “Happy Hours”, which does not imply what it does for pubs in the city. It is now seen as necessary that children must be happy and share their happiness.
In the happy hour, children will be given the opportunity to showcase their talents by reciting poetry, telling jokes and other such non-academic yet pleasurable activities. Educationists say that happiness relates to how we feel and that the feel good factor is very important and should be inculcated in children from a young age.
Government schools are also planning to introduce happiness in the curriculum. It is practised in social welfare residential schools called Freedom Schools. The happiness curriculum was inspired by the Delhi government, which introduced it and has been running successfully in state run schools there.
A teacher at a Telangana Social Welfare residential school said, “We believe in imparting stress-free education to our children. In Freedom schools, students are given a free hand for 45 minutes and various activities are scheduled for this time each day, such as dance, cultural activities, various subject clubs and debate competitions.”
During free time every Friday, children are also made to interact with people from all social strata for overall understanding of the society. Private and corporate schools are also introducing happiness in the curriculum.
St Peter's International Residential School in Dhulapally recently introduced Happy Hours between 3 and 3.30 pm every day for its 280-plus students.
Saroja Reddy, director of St Peter's International Residential School, said: “We have a school radio show called Happy Hour. Children sing, speak, recite poetry, tell jokes, relate amusing facts or information during that hour on their School Radio. Students sit in their class and listen to them.”
The idea is to break the monotony of studies from 9 am to 4 pm. “We have heard of a school in Delhi doing the same thing. And we are only following that small thought,” Ms Reddy said.
Zilla parishad and mandal parishad government schools seem wary of the idea. However, a teacher belonging to the United Teacher Federation (UTF) said, “Our schools do not even have designated teachers for the arts and crafts, music and other extracurricular activities, which should be mandatory in the implementation of the happiness curriculum.”