Malaysian, International Educators work together in advocating ‘Humane Happiness’ project to students
#Special Report #Educators
Inspired from ‘The Art of Happiness’ written by his holly highness Dalai Lama, the project Humane Happiness 2021 was an international collaborative project, the brainchild of passionate educator, Pramod Thube, an English teacher from Maharashtra, India and his Life Skills Studio.
Established in October 2020, Life Skills Studio intends to inculcate essential Life Skills like empathy, critical
thinking, creative thinking, self-awareness and so on in students, through PBL (Project Based Learning).
‘Happiness’ has become a key word in these volatile, unstable and chaotic times of COVID19 pandemic as children are facing depression, anxiety, and other socio-economic impacts in large numbers like never.
Unending lockdowns, uncontrollable social situations, lack of social activities, absence of peer interactions are few reasons for this. Being dependent and hence the most vulnerable member of society, children are getting affected by the ill effects of this pandemic a lot.
According to UNICEF, 168 million children could not attend the school globally for almost an entire year. That’s the reason, why Life Skills Studio started this project to support students and teachers in getting out of this situation by working on their socio-emotional aspects.
Malaysia’s contribution in this project
Over 250 educators from 40 different countries along with their 3496 students, out of which 58 educators were
from Malaysia, joined their hands in this project to make themselves and the world a happier one. The educators and students involved in the project at the right time during pandemic where the students needed the support in social-emotional aspects. The project took place between Jan- April 2021.
This project is in line with educational aspects of Malaysian education system where we want to produce students who can be equipped with 21st century learning skills, ICT knowledge and content knowledge. It was indeed a call of the time!
The mission ‘Humane Happiness’ was simple; to train every single student and the educator to be happy and to help
him/her to be a global citizen who will strive to achieve SDGs and will be competent enough in terms of Life skills to achieve lifelong happiness and master ‘The Art of Happiness’. We focused the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) set by United Nations and 10 Life Skills laid down by World Health Organization.
To empower our Happiness Ambassadors (student participants) with skills to create ‘Happiness’ within themselves and the world, we infused special opportunities with education that brought an understanding of the term ‘Happiness’.
Students could experience the joy of contribution towards social cause that is essential for effective understanding of global citizenship. Through different activities, we tried to develop constructive habits, a sense of optimism and a skill of relationship building.
The activities in Humane Happiness were conducted in three phases related to personal, collective and sustainable happiness. Knowing our Happiness Ambassadors, Happiness Skills Survey, Orientation and Trainings, Happiest Moment of the Day, Sound Mind in Sound Body, Happiness Pals Global Connections, Women in Action Week, OOSC (Out of School Children), Kindness Week, Calculating Our Ecological Footprints, Happy HeaARTS (AIL: Art Integrated Learning), Humane Happiness Hours, Happiness Skills Survey (Post) were all the activities conducted during those ten weeks.
We are very happy that the project was a huge success. The first and the foremost outcome is that, students were able to connect with other students from their own countries and across the world. This reduced the feeling of isolation, lack of peer interactions which is prevalent in this COVID19 pandemic.
Through our training sessions and activities like Kindness Week, we could empower students with life skills like kindness, sympathy, a sense of optimism, mindfulness etc. that helped and will help them to keep themselves happy and the surroundings, too.
Activities like Women in Action Week, OOSC, helped students understand their responsibilities as future responsible
citizens. Students could experience the pleasure in contributing towards the social cause. Sound Mind in Sound Body helped students in building constructive habits. Students’ Discussion Boards allowed our ambassadors to prove their ability to find out solutions to the current social issues and also to be a part of the solutions and to practice and polish their communication skills.
Students put a step forward for being innovative designers. Happy HeARTs proved to be the best way to integrate art in the learning process. Many passive participants went on active with this activity. It really triggered enthusiasm in all. It proved that AIL (Art Integrated Learning) should be an integral part of any children cantered projects.
Happiness Pals Global Connections helped students and facilitators in building relationships globally. It’s a pleasure to all Humane Happiness participants to be a member of a large global family. Happiest Moment of the Day, an activity that they carried out every day, helped the students to understand that there is happiness/pleasure in small day-today things too. It helped them understand the true meaning of the term ‘Happiness’.
Comparing the data from Happiness Skills survey, it is evident that all the activities conducted during the project helped in the form of increased levels of Happiness Skills in the participants.
Nirmaladevi Kandasamy, Human Happiness South East Asia Coordinator, a Malaysian educator from SK St Patrick,
found that her students were motivated in learning English Language. They were encouraged to listen, speak, read, and write in English during the journey of Humane Happiness. The students are second Language learners’, so they have the fear and low self- esteem in learning English Language.
Therefore, this incredible project encouraged her students to take part in learning through various activities using Wakelet and Flipgrid.
Chubashini Amirtham, MIE Expert from Malaysia, one of the Humane Happiness Facilitators, was very excited to travel virtually in this journey to India and Romania with global educators and students.
As over 250 educators from 40 different countries along with their 3496 students joined their hands together, Humane Happiness has become a global platform for exchange of ideas and solutions.
The project helped many to redefine happiness!
#Contributed by Chubashini Amritham, who was part of this project to Asia News Today team