The over a month-long 9th International Adolescent Summit, 2020: Life Skills, Health, Safety & School Wellbeing closed today in a Valedictory function over a virtual event. Organized by Expressions India with National Book Trust, India as the Knowledge Partner, the event was inaugurated Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ Hon’ble Minister of Education on 18 December 2020.
The Summit aimed to understand and review the concept, needs and trends of School Mental Health and Life Skills and Values Education in the national as well as global perspectives. The Summit also enabled an interactive dialogue on Good Practices Discussion on integration of school safety, sanitisation, nutrition, hygiene and mental health promotion program within the comprehensive school health education curriculum and life skills programming. With active participation of nearly 14,000 students and teachers involving over 1200 schools from all over India, the Summit gave a chance to the students and teachers to appreciate and suggest their views with other schools from all over the country, thus facilitating and promoting cultural exchange.
Over the course of 4 weeks and over 15 sessions, the Summit saw the presence of various eminent educationists, artists, counsellors, psychologists, academicians from across India as the National Resource Faculty. Various events such as poster-paintings, Indian classical dance, Nukkad Natak and making short films along with Yuva Sansad provided an eclectic platform where students from schools across the country and abroad interacted with each other to promote creativity and awareness in health, wellbeing, friendship and peace, amongst the various cultural backdrops of the nation. The International Adolescent Summit also endeavoured to facilitate an understanding of other adolescent concerns such as gender sensitization, family bonding and communication, media literacy thus enabling a conducive environment for application of Life Skills and partnering for Behavioural and Emotional Safety of school going students.
Shri Rajat Sharma Chairman & Editor-in Chief, INDIA TV News, and the Guest of Honour at the event said that the adolescents are also our teachers in some regard as they constantly teach us new ways of life and lead the world to a new direction. He applauded the program director, Dr. Jitendra Nagpal for successfully organizing this interactive summit wherein the adolescents were not mere audience but an integral part of the entire program. He said that good health, both mental and physical, is the most important aspect of life and the biggest lesson that the pandemic has taught us. Adolescents especially need to focus on their mental well-being.
“If you are rich, travel. If you are poor, read. But if you are in between, then do both.” Speaking at the valedictory ceremony of the International Adolescent Summit, Shri Yuvraj Malik Director National Book Trust, India implored adolescents to have self-faith and believe in their own capabilities. Recognizing the adolescents as future leaders and future of the nation, he encouraged them to embrace the talent that sleeps within and express it fearlessly. Adolescence is the stage of life where one has unlimited capabilities, strength and the youth should be fearless in accepting and expressing their talent.
Adolescence is a tender age where an individual goes through self-realization and requires the right guidance and mentorship to build his life. The importance of introducing the adolescents to the rich Indian culture and history at this age so that they inculcate human values and ethos early on, was highlighted in all the events and interactive workshops of the Summit. During the course of the Summit, the students engaged with participants from schools across the country and abroad in various events that helped foster a newer understanding of 21st-century life skills, innovative programs for promoting values, gender sensitivity, health and wellbeing.
A Students Charter on Life Skills, Health, Safety and School Wellbeing-2020 was also drafted and came into effect at the conclusion of the 9th International Adolescent Summit on Life Skills, Health and Wellbeing, after extensive deliberations during the International Summit that facilitated the voice of school students from across the country who came together for the first time in addressing their opinions, needs and concerns regarding the core themes such as health and wellbeing.