Turning the spotlight on slow learners

It is a case of winner takes it all, when it comes to board exam results. The Plus Two exams have just been announced and the class X results will soon be upon us. While the toppers grab the limelight, the less scoring go about being scorned. While some try to conceal their marks some are pushed to the brink and they resort to drastic measures.

‘Makku’, a short film directed by a Puducherry film-maker, has turned the spotlight on slow learners. He has also dealt with the favouritism shown to academically bright students in a classroom.

The protagonist is a boy, Manickam, who gets chided in the opening for his inability to read or recite a Thirukurral from memory. Manickam while talented in drawing is dissuaded from signing up for a national-level competition by the teacher who sees him as a dunce.

Slow learners and low-scorers have other skills and talents that can be identified and encouraged by teachesr, is what the film portrays.

The film was shot in a rural school from where N. Sruthi, who plays a main role, hails from. Mosin, the boy who plays Manickam, the protagonist, acknowledges that the film is a slice of reality. Sruthi’s mother felt she saw herself on screen, “I dropped out of school at a young age. My daughter wins prizes in karate, yoga and dance. But I reprimand her everyday as she does not study as much as I want her to.”

The film’s director Imam Jaffar who makes ad films for a living, wanted to take up a message which he could relate to.

“A student who scores well becomes the teacher’s apple of the eye while the one who scores poorly becomes an object of scorn, no matter how talented he or she is. These students are branded as Makku, hence the title.”

Two non-profit organisations, Trust for Youth and Leadership and Mughil Social Welfare Association, who conduct leadership and motivation programmes for underprivileged children, have co-produced the film. “We want to screen the films in schools as awareness for both students and teachers,” says Siva of TYCL.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 2:05:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/turning-the-spotlight-on-slow-learners/article6028100.ece

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