The conference titled “Promoting Adolescent Wellbeing in Every School: Bihar Leads the Way”, was conducted to get opinions amongst policymakers, educators, and mental health experts to help devise strategies to meet the urgent need.
Renowned speakers from the Departments of Health and Education from the Government of Bihar and officials from the Union Education and Health Ministries, and adolescent health experts discussed school-based approaches and actions needed to promote positive outcomes for adolescents’ mental health.
Since promoting the mental health and well-being of students is also the focus of the NEP 2020, the role of schools and teachers in ensuring this cannot be emphasized enough. Resilience and well-being are being included in all our teacher training, and the first orientation of 40,000 teachers has recently been completed.
Bihar Leads the Way in Promoting Adolescent Wellbeing in Every School
Hence, every middle school in Bihar should ensure that the students can learn about their strengths, become resilient and stay mentally healthy in difficult times. The government has also decided to integrate well-being into the state training curriculum and textbooks and orient teachers for early identification and psychosocial support.
The partnership between CorStone and Bihar Education Department is the first step in ensuring that every student and teacher in Bihar obtains the skills and knowledge to thrive in and out of the classroom and change their lives. They are also looking forward to building collaborations with others to expand this work to other states in India.
In a recent development, adolescents in all Government Middle Schools and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in Bihar will receive a well-being program through a three-year collaboration between CorStone and the Education Department, Government of Bihar.
This partnership will expand programs across the state to enhance the holistic well-being and development of adolescents as per the New Education Policy NEP, 2020. Recently, a one-day conference was organized in Patna to achievements from these programs and lay out a road map for the integration of adolescent wellbeing training into the school system.
The curriculum based on this partnership will also be adapted and integrated into all school textbooks by the academic year 2024. CorStone will provide curriculum, training, technical advice, and monitoring support to the Education Department through 2025 to help ensure the adoption and sustainability of the programs across all 38 districts of the state.
At scale, the programs are expected to reach approximately 35,000 government schools and 534 KGBVs, providing well-being skills to over 3.5 million Standard VI-VIII students annually.
These programs integrate evidence-based practices from the fields of emotional resilience, positive psychology, social-emotional learning, and conflict resolution with adolescent health training to improve mental and physical well-being, school engagement, self-advocacy, social skills, and relationships among youth.