A modern new school in rural India, expected to be completed by 2020, turns the traditional education model on its head–focusing instead on cultivating happy students and compassionate people. The primary goal is to teach chidden how to be happy. Learning skills comes next. Preparing for standardized tests is not part of the curriculum.
The founders come from an entrepreneurial background, not the world of education, and saw an opportunity to approach the idea of a school in a radically different way. The inspiration for the school came from a long running Harvard Study that has tracked people over the last 80 years, which found that strong relationships are key to a happy life.
“The students will also be taught how to live a happier life using philosophy from resources like the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts. “I think from a Western context, you tend to believe that the environment controls your happiness,” says cofounder Kiran Reddy. “So you attempt to control your environment. In an Eastern philosophy, you tend to believe that you control happiness through your mind–in how you perceive things, so you can disconnect the environment from your happiness. Ideally, that’s what we want to teach the kids.”