Talking about Topics Outside the Curriculum

There are days when you are eager to share what we have read and we want to talk about a different topic,that makes children wonder and reflect.It can be something spontaneous though I find it useful to have some points / mental notes.

Giving students a refreshing perspective about global issues with an example that triggers thinking is an activity that can be conducted regularly, apart from what is there in the prescribed syllabus.
This is an example that talks about Gross National Happiness. 

Ask these two very important questions,as a prelude to the topic:

What if happiness is an index to measure a country’s prosperity?
Will this make the world a better  place?

Narrate the story of Bhutan


The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India. To the west, it is separated from Nepal by the Indian state of Sikkim, while farther south it is separated from Bangladesh by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutan’s capital and largest city is Thimphu.

“Gross  National Happiness is more important  than  Gross  Domestic  Product”
– His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck,  4th King of Bhutan
With his famous  declaration, the former King of Bhutan  challenged conventional, narrow and materialistic notions  of human  progress. He realized and declared that  the existing development paradigm  – GNP (or GDP) – did not consider the ultimate  goal of every human  being: happiness.

Perhaps inspired by age-old wisdom in the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan, the fourth King
concluded that GDP was neither an equitable nor a meaningful measurement for human happiness, nor should it be the primary focus for governance; and thus the philosophy of Gross National Happiness: GNH is born.

Since that  time this pioneering  vision of GNH has  guided Bhutan’s  development and policy formation.  Unique among the community of nations, it is a balanced ‘middle path’ in which equitable socio-economic development is integrated with environmental conservation, cultural promotion  and good governance.

Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country’s mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.

Bhutan’s Honorable Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay

Share this TED talk with your students


In a world where uncertainties loom large, it is time to redefine the lessons being taught to children of today. Let us share the right kind of stories that are thought provoking and spur the young minds to enhance the beauty and glory of the world.

– journal jotting

Students can be encouraged to talk or write their responses to the following questions:

Are we progressing as a civilization?

What does progress mean to you?

How do you think a country should progress?

If this post resonates with you, do write in your comments. If you implement this in your classroom, please do let us know your experience and students’ response by mail : write to

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