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Happy Schools: Panel on Policies and Practices in the Asia-Pacific Region

UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) launched the Happy Schools Project in June 2014 in the aim of promoting learner well-being and holistic development in schools. Following a series of research activities, the report Happy Schools: A Framework for Learner Well-being in the Asia-Pacific was published in March 2016 to coincide with the International Day of Happiness. Based on school voices and perspectives in the region, the report proposes a framework consisting of 22 criteria for a happy school and highlights promising and innovative practices in schools for reaching the criteria, as well as reflections and next steps to promote learner well-being in policy and practice. In light of today’s competitive, stress-fueled and test-focused world, the Happy Schools Project aims to offer an alternative notion of the quality of education that values and nurtures learners’ diverse talents and strengths.

This panel offered various perspectives from policymakers, experts and school-level stakeholders on how the Happy Schools framework can be promoted and implemented in education systems in the region and beyond.