T.N. School Education Department wants art and culture to be part of students’ life

Students taking part in a drawing workshop. File

Students taking part in a drawing workshop. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Following an announcement made earlier this year on a focussed effort to introduce extra-curricular and co-curricular activities in government schools, the Tamil Nadu School Education Department is working on rolling out initiatives including folk art, music, and theatre in the coming months. 

In an addition made to the usual school timetable this academic year, the department had said that two periods a week would be allotted for students of classes VI to IX for extra and co-curricular activities.

“In schools, the department wants students to be expressive, and is of the belief that art and culture is an integral part of their education. Whatever they are good at- be it painting, performing arts, folk arts or theatre, they will be encouraged to learn and perform,” said R.Sudhan, State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha. 

He said that the emphasis was on ensuring students were socially responsible, well rounded citizens. “Students will choose and learn art forms that they are interested in, and we will also bring in experts to teach them. All of these activities are also expected to culminate in talent showcases, and competitions conducted across blocks as well as at the State level,” he added.

 Musician T.M. Krishna, who has been working with the department on these initiatives, said that efforts were being taken to encourage local art forms to the students in schools. 

“At the district level, art forms which are prevalent are being mapped and local artists who can become facilitators will be identified. This will greatly benefit local artists who will be engaged in working with the students. Art teachers in schools will also be involved and tapped as resource persons,” he said.

“Schools are places where creative energies are to be encouraged and that they lead to the widening of thought processes. Art plays a central role in cultivating an open, equal, and harmonious society,” he added. 

While currently in its initial stages, the School Education Department is expected to finalise a syllabus for art, as well as conduct workshops for facilitators and put monitoring systems in place for this programme to be adopted in 13,200 government schools.

For the two periods set aside for extra-curricular activities every week, government schools have been encouraging students to participate in English and Tamil club activities, showcase their talents in dance, music and art, as well as participate in film screenings which have been scheduled once a month. 

Stressing on how important this is for the students, Velu Saravanan, a children’s theatre artist and Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University, said he had recently worked with students from a government school in Kancheepuram where they delved into theatre and staged a play.

“They were excited and enthusiastic throughout, and continued initiatives like this will  have a positive impact on their mindset and translate into better learning in classrooms,” he added. 

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 3:46:02 pm |