NEP: Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing.
Amidst the global shutdown and rising pandemic all the actors of the education industry are still processing the New Education Policy. With a lot of proposals some of them clear while many confusing, we had to do our part. We stepped in and now we’ve got the policy broken down clearly for all you readers. We have curated a six part blog series named “Decoding NEP” where we pick up each block of the National Education Policy 2020 with a special speaker every week.
If you’re on a tight schedule, you can listen to this on our podcast “The Glentree Show” which is available on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts or any podcast streaming platform. I’m sure that you’ll benefit great from this blog or the podcast, whichever is your way to go !
The theme under which we would be reading today is “NEP:Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing”. For our fourth episode, we had Ms. Aandal Thakku Ekanathan (Teacher,Glentree Academy). Well, she had a lot to say, read on to find out !
HOST :What do you as a “psychologist or counsellor” think about the New Education Policy?
SPEAKER : Well, the New Education Policy 2020, announced after 34 long years has brought about a monumental change in the new educational policy of our country. It has placed high priority, it has placed high importance for physical and mental health for students. Even though the policy is in the budding stage it is our duty to appreciate the policy framers to think of student’s health holistically. In addition to regular school schedules, there are also several new programs that have been put down by the policy to holistically take care of health.
HOST :What is mental health and emotional well-being?
SPEAKER : Often, these two terms are used interchangeably. Emotional Well-being simply means to be in tune with the emotions and vulnerability of our body. On the other hand, Mental Health refers to emotions, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act and how we relate to others and make choices. Mental health is highly important throughout the life of an individual from childhood, adolescence to adulthood. At the end of the day, it is our duty as parents and teacher to take care of the mental and emotional health of our children and students. In case we do not pay heed, it can lead to negative coping mechanisms in an individual’s life.
HOST:Is the New Education Policy mental health inclusive?
SPEAKER: Yes, let me tell you that 3 out of 4 mental health issues originate among students during their early years of formation. Mental Health plays a fundamental role in building up their life. The New Education Policy has a larger number of policies that have kept in mind student’s mental and physical health. With lesser school days, no bag days, no more stressful exams and other schemes are aimed to reduce the fear amongst students. With Fit India Movement and other such star movements in the policy the government has kept in mind the needs of the students and made the policy mental health exclusive. However, this can happen only if the policy is implemented in the right way by all schools across the length and the breadth of the country.
HOST: Teachers are an important part of the education industry, how is the policy addressing the overall emotional and mental health of the teachers?
SPEAKER : An educator’s mental health is as important as the student’s health. It plays a vital role and lack of well-being amongst teaching will be reflected in the learning levels. This is definitely a difficult task but however it is the duty of all organisations to take good care of their faculties.
HOST :The most important highlight of the policy is the “Expansion of the Food Program” how is it going to benefit the students?
SPEAKER : India’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme is one of the most outstanding welfare schemes of our country. It has highly benefited several students and in fact led to increase in enrollment rates. The scheme initially focussed on provision of mid-day meals to students from grade 1 to 8. With the new policy coming into effect, the government also aims at provision of breakfast along with the mid-day meals. This scheme is also going to be extended according to the new structure. By provision of two meals the government aims to increase the productivity of children and helps them in providing strength and focus for studying demanding subjects.
HOST :Lastly, could you give all our listeners, parents and students how to maintain the right balance between academics and other activities and how to keep our mental, physical and emotional health on track?
SPEAKER : At the outset, the parents must not set outright expectations on their kids, but rather understand their boundaries and act accordingly. The children must be trained in such a way that they are the ultimate for themselves and every progress they make is just an additional feather to their cap. The children must have ample breaks between their study hours and the time they spend on other activities. As always they must have balanced food, good sleep and socialise not through applications but through people. It is also highly important as parents and teachers to pay heed to our children and notice even the slightest bit of changes in their behaviour and spend quality time with them.
We’ve wrapped up our fourth post, come back here next Wednesday to find out what our experts had to say on “Early Childhood Care and Education” with respect to the National Education Policy.
That’s the fourth post of our series “Decoding NEP”. If you have any questions or queries be sure to comment it down we’re glad to help you out. If reading is a buzzkill for you, tune into our podcast “The Glentree Show” you can find it on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts or any other podcast streaming platform. Or just click on the play button below, you can listen to it with ease!