The children of 21st-century are equipped with smartphones way ahead than their acquaintance with books. They are learning in an advanced age of technology and the internet. In such a scenario, in India, every parent aspires their kids to perform exceptionally well in their studies, excel in co-curricular activities, get in a good college, secure an excellent job, then a well-settled family. Everything is ready on the platter to be served, cooked, or uncooked. There is hardly any alteration in it. Hence children lose their self; mental and emotional wellbeing in the race of excelling in every sphere of life.
As they say, change is the only constant for society to emerge out of the threshold of these existing norms and move into the contemporary world. It is imperative to evolve with the times. We might have been slowly evolving and acclimatising to new technology and digital age, but we need to bargain for the much-needed reforms in the education setup—the setup which shapes the young mind for the future.
The focus of this reform needs to be on the overall development of children which demands a significant shift in the education paradigm. This shift incorporates a more holistic curriculum, including all types of intelligence. However, immediate attention needs to be the introduction of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the education curriculum and set a stronger future foundation for the student.
EI is associated with developing emotional competencies in the student with its affect on their other achievements. Statistics have shown a 90 per cent correlation between high emotional intelligence and high performance. By helping your child to develop higher emotional intelligence, you are helping them to increase their future job performance.
The five main areas under the umbrella of EI include self-awareness, emotional control, empathy, self-motivation, and relationship skills. It helps children to understand and identify their feelings, make them empathetic towards others, help them in decision-making, and develop and sustain their relationship. It not only strengthens their mental health, reduces anxiety but also prepares them to remain calm in any situation and results in improving their outcomes.
In India, schools serve as a learning environment for socially, economically and culturally heterogeneous groups of students with various interests; hence the government needs to include an integrated and comprehensive curriculum which paves the way of success for the students. It must entail balanced education, giving equal importance to both academic skills, social and emotional competence.
Introducing Emotional Intelligence directs the students to be aware of their social surroundings and help them to plan and meet their goals. A high emotional quotient in students helps them function both intrapersonal and interpersonal, wherein they have defined knowledge of their mental wellbeing to navigate their lives in future vis-à-vis society they live.
Many reports have inadvertently concluded that high IQ is not necessarily true predictors of success in life; however, a high EQ has a more prominent impact in their lives later.
It is not hidden from anyone that the current curriculum focuses on academic excellence so much so that it sidelines the character excellence of the students. Schools today are just charged with discipline, academics, co-curriculum participation, school representation in various inter-school activities, and issues like bullying and violence amongst students are dealt with punishing them or complaining about their ill-behaviour to their parents.
Hence, the need for social and emotional competence reform is immediate, which focuses on the character development of the students. This overall growth will help them control their emotional and rational judgment and consequently lead them to contribute significantly to the development of the nation.