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Indian state govt. to teach ‘Secular Ethics’ curriculum in schools

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Indian officials sign the 'letter of intent' in the presence of H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala on May 22, 2024 (Photo/OHHDL)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, May 22: The northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to implement Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning across all government schools in the state. The agreement was made between the Department of Education and the Piramal Foundation, with the signing ceremony taking place in front of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamshala on Monday.

In this collaboration, Rajesh Sharma, IFS, the State Project Director, represented the Department of Education. The initiative aims to integrate SEE Learning into the school curriculum, enhancing student’s social, emotional, and ethical skills. This partnership seeks to improve students’ educational experience and overall well-being in Himachal Pradesh.

SEE Learning, described as an education of the heart and mind, is a curriculum developed by Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Sciences and Compassion-Based Ethics in collaboration with the Dalai Lama Trust. The curriculum, which spans from kindergarten to Std XII, builds on the work of psychologist Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence. It emphasizes critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and compassion, highlighting commonalities among individuals.

This initiative is part of a global movement to include emotional and ethical education in schools. The holistic approach of SEE Learning aligns with international educational trends that focus on nurturing well-rounded individuals who are both academically proficient and emotionally and ethically aware. The Dalai Lama, whose vision influenced the SEE Learning curriculum, has consistently emphasized the importance of compassion and ethical awareness in education.

The official launch of the SEE Learning (Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning) Program took place in New Delhi, India, from April 4–6, 2019, presided over by Nobel Peace Laureate and Emory University Presidential Distinguished Professor, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This program represents the culmination of over two decades of educational collaboration between His Holiness and Emory University. The SEE Learning program and its accompanying curricula embody what His Holiness has often referred to as ‘secular ethics,’ aiming to foster social, emotional, and ethical development in education.

One Response

  1. It is such a great news that Himachal Govt. finally decided to include SEE learning in the school curriculum. It would not only benefit the students but the entire state. Bravo

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