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Health & Wellness belong in classrooms

by Vijay Garg
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The health and wellness of students in schools have become increasingly important, especially in the post-covid era. The National Curriculum Framework for School Education emphasised that guidance and counselling can support the attainment of educational aims by contributing to creating an ethos of overall well-being and teaching individuals an ethic of care and mutual respect.
According to the NCF, physical health, and wellness are crucial needs for growing up and require careful addressing by schools. “Designing programs that contribute to good health and physical fitness for all students across the stages in their school life is a central goal.
Not just physical, there is a need to prioritise psychological health and wellness as well. With a primary focus on students, guidance and counselling work must teach strategies for emotional regulation and positive motivation. While mild to moderate challenges with mental health can receive counselling support within the school, it would be necessary to direct students and families to more qualified professionals outside the school system for clinical diagnosis and support,” the report stated.
Regarding the reasons for introducing health and wellness, the draft stated that the classroom and the school were sites for emotional learning, growth, and expression, which were probably the most occupying for teachers at this stage. “Students themselves go through unpredictable mood states and energy fluctuations, often grappling with a sense of unexplainable wellness or not-so-wellness. Middle Stage pedagogy must allow for some amount of engagement with emotional experiences through quiet discussion and reflection. Curricular areas can be used as contexts in which individual responses can be parsed. The teacher will have to find a balance in the approach to students’ emotions – an approach that is neither intrusive nor indulgent, but reasonably firm, rationally clear, and emotionally caring towards students of this stage,” the report said.
Importance of games
The NCF emphasises the importance of exercising the mind just as exercising the body is crucial to maintaining good health. Encouraging children to play games that involve strategy, logic, word puzzles, and recreational mathematics is an excellent way to spark their interest in mathematics and foster their logical thinking skills.
Spatial reasoning can be developed through activities such as solving jigsaw puzzles, playing with blocks, and solving mazes. Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills can be enhanced through playing games such as tic-tac-toe and chess.
Playing games such as Chaupad, Snakes and Ladders, and Ludo can be a fun way to teach counting, strategy, collaboration, healthy competition, and bonding with peers.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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