Between the Science, Maths, Literature and SUPW classes, were you ever taught what to do after you experienced heart wrenching failure? In hindsight, we all wish we learned more practical skills like financial planning but what about life skills like managing one’s emotions, what about social and emotional learning?
In the words of the Dalai Lama, “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.”
Taking baby steps
2020 was a landmark year for teachers, parents and many educationists who want a change in the rote learning education system. The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP), rolled out a key inclusion into the school’s curricula – social and emotional learning (SEL) that aims to teach students how to manage one’s mental health, feelings, make socially sound decisions, and most importantly – understand other people’s emotions as well.
Many educationists and sector experts laud this move. It is being viewed as a step in the right direction to build a more responsible and empathetic generation of citizens. The emphasis on social and emotional skills in educational institutes will ensure students and freshers in the market work towards greater good – thus improving society as a whole.
In India, with 22 languages officially recognized and scores that are not, even moving from one’s home-city to another can be an overwhelming experience for children. They have to learn a whole new set of social practices. For example a kid moving from the northern part of this country to the southern – does not only have to cope with the shift in language and the change in the main staple of diet around him from roti to rice but also has to come to terms with the fact that footwear is left at the doorstep when entering a house among other nuances. The Early Childhood Care and Education chapter in the NEP highlights how SEL can help young students overcome such challenges.
Applicability of social and emotional learning
One of the biggest setbacks educationists are expecting is the manner in which the subject will be taught. Is it just going to be another browse through with mindless assessment like Environmental Studies? Are teachers adequately skilled to explain various concepts of the subject to students who hail from divergent social identities? Is there a support system for teachers and SEL facilitators when faced with challenges from parents who don’t see the value in learning about life skills? Is there a way to assess students to understand the real impact of SEL? As graduates, will they finally become aware of their role in society as social citizens?
Building a robust curriculum and executing it can be a challenge tackled by government-private partnerships and individual domain experts, equipped with the right resources. If “honest and responsible human beings” is the end goal, this needs to be a collective effort! With multiple stakeholders, who are equipped with the right knowledge and resources. Private Edtech companies curating learning material in a gamified form, SEL will have more impact when disseminated in the right format – an engaging platform for the students. Not only will it enhance the learning experience but also encourage students to inherently practice these qualities and traits beyond the education premises.
The big lead-up
NEP 2020 is trailblazing not just for the inclusion of SEL but also because of the emphasis it lays on holistic child development. Coupled with the traditional academic subjects, the quality of education in India is set to be completely revolutionized with this new policy. It will make children better aware and conscious of their role in society – bringing in innovative solutions and thought processes to address our chronic problems of poverty, inequality and sustainability.
At Impresario Global, we’re working towards a similar goal – building a better society that gives purpose to humanity! SEL is close to our hearts as it champions the cause of creating better humans, individuals geared to change society and engaged in civic-action.
Only when the seed of questioning the status quo is ingrained in the minds of young kids, will they grow to be more conscious and aware of how they need to contribute to uplifting their communities and society at large. Through our soon-to-be-launched psycho-socio intelligence tool, we aim to make you aware of your own social and civic contribution, and help identify where you can improve the situation.
Are we, as a society and as individuals, ready to face the truth?
Are we ready to question the accepted norms of society?
Are we ready to change the status-quo with upskilled social and emotional enterprise?