School Cinema will soon make learning interesting for children by screening films as part of the curriculum

Eight demanding periods, some are fun, some are not, some you can barely handle and others you just fight to stay awake in. If only all the classes were interesting. Sometimes constantly staring at the black board can be a pain. At least that’s how I felt in school. We didn’t have much of a choice other than badgering our teachers to occasionally tell us stories or play an ‘educative’ game.

Watching an informative movie in school was a luxury, something that didn’t happen often. I won’t complain because in spite of all that school was wonderful.

Part of curriculum

But students today may just be a tad luckier. Films may become part of their curriculum. School Cinema, an initiative of Edumedia India, makes learning interesting with an array of films that deal with everyday issues. “People often say the media is a bad influence. So we thought why not change that and use it for a good cause. Since students are more interested in TV than a teacher standing in front of the class and teaching, we came up with this idea,” says Lucky. B, Executive- BD and Events, Edumedia.

The current module for 2009-2010 is for students of Classes V and VI and has 12 films, out of which 10 are for students, one for parents and one for teachers. “In the next few years we plan to have films for Classes V to XII.,” adds Lucky. Meetings are also held with schools and principals to exchange and develop ideas.

Neil O’ Brien, Chairman, Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations Board, approves of the idea and says, “We need innovative concepts in education and this sounds good. My best wishes for the project, I’m sure the children will love it. ”

The duration of each film is about 20 minutes and is followed by a workbook session. Filling the workbook is exciting and will help children assimilate whatever they have learnt from the movie. “It’s more like a slam book where they can put up stickers, pictures of their best friends, family and more,” informs Lucky. Edumedia has gone around 30 cities and visited 500 schools with the idea of School Cinema. As of now about five schools from Chennai have signed up for this innovative way of learning — Velammal group of schools, Kaligi Ranganathan School, Chinmaya, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air Force School and Gateway American International School.

“It’s a novel process. In a residential school like ours, we have the responsibility to provide students with all facilities on campus. Since we screen one movie every week, it’s quite a task selecting a good movie for the students. School Cinema will come in handy with its range of films,” says K. Kothandaraman, Principal, Velammal International School.

Rich in values

Entertaining, yet rich in values and ethics, the movies are like a hipper version of Moral Science classes. With interesting names such as “Dedh Footiya” (that deals with self-confidence and self-esteem), “Aiyyo Paaji” (on national integration), “The Graveyard” (on bullying) and more, the films sure are going to be a hit with children. They are bilingual — in Hindi and English. That might seem a bit of a problem for schools in the rural areas where these languages are largely unknown. To address this concern, the Edumedia team plans to slowly come up with films in different languages.

The price of the package may pose a problem. The package comprising 12 movies and workbooks will cost a school Rs. 50,000. What about schools which are strapped for money? “We have worked on that as well and have offers for those schools,” says Lucky.