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Happiness to be taught in schools
The Ministry of Education has partnered with US-based organisation Project Happiness to teach children to be happy. At a news conference yesterday, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh announced plans to infuse “happiness” into the curriculum in primary and secondary schools, using the strategies developed by Randy Taran, founder of Project Happiness. The news conference took place at the ministry in St Clair.
Gopeesingh said Taran’s team would assist his ministry in widening and deepening the emotional development of children in schools. Project Happiness is a programme used by schools to teach happiness and emotional resilience to young people using online resources, multimedia techniques and curriculum work. Taran and her team will lead a two-day workshop starting today with over 700 educators.
Gopeesingh said Taran’s programme fell in line with the ministry’s objective to focus on more than just academic development. Taran told media the idea of bringing Project Happiness to T&T seemed urgent and timely, considering recent news reports about violence toward children.
“The issues being seen in the news are not unique to T&T and are being seen all over the world,” said Taran. “The world is changing. There is more stress and people need a different set of skills in order to survive. These skills need to be taught at a young age.” Taran said these skills had to deal with people learning to be emotionally resilient and happy. “Stress is a global issue. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2020 depression will be the greatest cause of human suffering,” Taran said.
She said Project Happiness could help children create a life that would benefit not only themselves but their communities as well. “Giving children these tools at a young age will give them the foundation to thrive as adults.” “How can a student concentrate on their learning if their minds are full of conflict and stress?” Taran said introducing the concept of Project Happiness in other countries had improved the social and academic lives of children.
“We need to help our young children. We need to give them tools for a better life and we cannot wait. If we do nothing, things will deteriorate.”
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