Government apathy, high course fee turn away students

Lack of support from the government clubbed with the reluctance of banks to grant education loans has made pursuing of fine arts courses at the government recognised fine arts institutions in the State less attractive for students.

200 institutes

In place of over 200 fine arts institutes which once existed in different parts of the State, only very few are there now.

Not only the number of such institutions presently functioning under the State Technical Education Department has come down drastically but the number of students joining the courses has also decreased, says Sebastian Alancad, State secretary of the Government Recognised Fine Arts and Animation Management Association (GRAFAMA).

“Most of the existing institutes only have less than 10 students while their recognised strength is 30,” says Mr. Alancad.

The gradual disappearance of the post of drawing-teachers from schools and the steady waning of opportunities for artists in the traditional advertisement sector were cited as some of the reasons for declining interest of students in the fine-arts courses.

Though the syllabus of the fine arts course was revised recently by the authorities to introduce graphics designing and animation, that did not do much to attract students due to lack of sufficient publicity for the course, says Vinod Pattanippara, a drawing teacher, who runs a fine arts institute at Perambra in Kozhikode for the last several years.

The government, according to him should do something to bring the interest of the students back to this course. “Or else, the remaining institutes will also have to close down soon,” says Mr. Pattanippara.

Though he had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy citing concerns of the fine arts institutes over the declining number of students, the response, according to him, was not encouraging.

“The government has also expressed in writing its helplessness to institute any scholarship at the moment,” he said.

After the recent syllabus revision of the two-year diploma course, KGCE (Kerala Government Certificate Examination in fine arts) the government also gave nod for introducing a uniform fee structure in all these colleges in the State. A fee of Rs. 60,000 was thus fixed for the two-year diploma course. According to Mr. Sebastian Alancad, most of the students, who join for the fine arts course in these institutes, are from financially backward families.

“Though the fee was fixed, most of the students are not in a position to remit it in the absence of any bank loan granted to them,” says Mr. Alancad.

Support needed

He said that a lot of opportunities in the multi-media sector were awaiting those who complete this course now. Only that the government should give a support to these institutes by giving publicity to its course and by taking necessary steps to make education loans available to those who pursue it, he said.

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