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Call to include art education in curriculum

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Sangeeth Kurian

`Budgetary allocation and resource for art education in schools minimal'

  • Number of art teachers inadequate
  • `Little awareness about imparting art education'

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Teaching children about art is not just about showing them how to recognise a Raja Ravi Varma painting or appreciate M.S. Subbulakshmi. It is also about their holistic development.

    Realising the role art education can play, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) has suggested the inclusion of art, work experience and physical education as subjects in the new curriculum. NCF is a guideline prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on how curriculum in schools should be.

    A report on how the new curriculum should be is currently posted on scert.kerala.gov.in seeking suggestions from parents and educationists.

    "Art education is the most neglected area in schools," said S. Venugopu, Research Officer, Music, State Council for Educational Research and Training. "Only very few schools are aware of the importance of providing training in arts. Parents think about it as a waste of time," he said.

    The budgetary allocation and resources in schools too are minimal when it comes to teaching art. "Most Government schools do not even have the money to buy some of the basic musical instruments," Mr. Venugopu said.

    "The number of teachers is also inadequate. There are only 3,000 art teachers in the State. This is less than 30 per cent of the required strength. Even then hours allotted to art subjects are taken away by the teachers of other subjects," said Mr. Venugopu.

    "Studies have shown that creativity, appreciation and co-operative mentality can be acquired only through art education. Learning arts can also reduce mental stress in children and enhance their aesthetic sense," said Mr. Venugopu.

    "Every individual has a quantum of potential in him which has to be identified, nurtured and harnessed properly for overall development," he added

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