Rethink Education

Nurturing the Arts

Fostering creativity and ingenuity in children, enhances cognitive and motor skills

Art education occupies only a marginal position in the present day education system in India, whereas the future sectors demand creative, flexible, and dynamic youth. Therefore, it becomes imperative to address the crisis in arts education as well as propose newer directions and vision for the future.

Sensing this gap, Ritu Khoda, founder, Art1st Foundation, says, “One important reason for the crisis is the marginalisation of the arts and humanities from the general education system. They are seen as soft subjects, whereas science and technology, engineering, medicine, and management are projected as the relevant subjects who can make a change.”

“This situation has led to another important development which is the slashing down of courses related to arts and humanities. They are seen as irrelevant in the present educational system and to the general outlook about education and career.”

According to Prof Naman Ahuja, School of Arts and Aesthetics JNU people have a narrow definition of art. Its relegation to the periphery has been fostered by those with a limited appreciation of life: unimaginative and joyless! “Creating an education system that encourages freedom requires confident teachers capable of withstanding criticism/ argument and themselves remaining curious and artistic. Unless the education system cultivates such teachers, we cannot expect art and creativity to be anywhere but on the periphery,” he adds.

Interdisciplinary studies

According to Khoda,art education also imparts various cognitive and motor skills which could enhance the learning of other disciplines such as Mathematics, Sciences and Social Sciences.

The newer directions require a collective vision and contribution. But first of all, we have to realise that every citizen on this planet has the right to cultural education according to UNO. This is an important mandate where arts and culture itself is valued equally along with human rights. Therefore, Art1st Foundation is ready to provide our learnings and our platform to build stakeholders in creating this vision,” she adds.

“There is a critical necessity of fostering creativity and ingenuity in children, the basis of which is, that education should be focused on the child as an individual. Theatre and art education are so important that it has an artistic influence on a person and is central to one’s development. The gap in the current art education system is such that it does not focus on children individually but collectively leading to diverting focus from a student’s holistic growth,” says the founder of Junoon, Sanjna Kapoor.


According to Khoda, we need to create an entire ecosystem and network which is conducive to the production of art, its dissemination and appreciation. Only a systematised integrated art education could enable newer job possibilities for young practitioners.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 8:01:41 PM |

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