29 Jan Educating the heart
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”
Today a person’s success in society is largely measured by his education or wealth and little by the values he possesses or the good he has done to society.
This starts right from a young age at homes, at educational institutions where the child is trained to score well in academics. There is no system in place to teach or evaluate how many values the kid has excelled in. The malleable years of youth in schools are crucial, whatever is learned and imbibed will determine how students would live out their lives in the future.
The National Policy on Education (1986) also expressed concern over “the erosion of essential values and an increasing cynicism in society”. Education should “foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the unity and integration of our people”.
Yet there is so much importance on educating the mind to achieve materialistic cognition, there is a mad rush to climb over the other person to achieve materialistic goals. The system of grades and marks in schools is creating a toxic environment, it sends students the message that the world is a zero-sum game: Your success means my failure.
Studies have shown that this, in turn, leads to higher levels of anxiety, unhappiness, hatred towards one another, etc. Education of the heart is totally neglected, which is the solution for all the miseries, unhappiness in the growing materialistic world today.
Values like kindness, empathy, equality, sharing, caring, love for others form the backbone of any successful happy society. When nurtured from a very young age, this would blossom into a beautiful Egalitarian society that produces happy individuals, happy families, happy communities and finally happy humanity.
Let us strive to tilt the balance towards an emphasis on the education of the heart, nurturing the inner values so that in the next 10-15 years we see a happier, caring world.
We at Bhumi recognize this gap and have been incorporating Social and Emotional skills (SEL) through the School Transformation Program in low income/govt aided schools in Chennai. It is offered as a curriculum that is taught and practiced in classrooms along with the regular classes. This program has generated a lot of interest among the teachers and students. It has benefited the students immensely in managing their emotions, improving concentration, resolving conflicts, inculcating best practices like kindness, empathy, gratitude and the like within the classroom culture. The classes have become more interactive and the teacher, student relationship has improved. All in all, this program is continuing to bring in a lot of positivity within the school and home environment and thereby paving the way for a better society.
WordSmith: Ramya Sundaram (Changedriver)
Bhumi’s School Transformation Programme supports low-income schools on their journey to becoming exemplary schools in their communities. Currently ongoing in 15 schools across Chennai, and supported by corporates like Qualcomm, FLEX, Greenergy, SEW Eurodrive, the programme also focuses on building the capacities of the teachers for improved content delivery.