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Students' Day
by Ananya S Guha Bookmark and Share

The artistic talents of young children must be honed from childhood. This can best be done in school, not through formal training, but by making children sensitive to the pleasures of life- the pleasures they derive from sharing things, the pleasures they derive from friendship, the school play ground, the activities inside as well as outside the classroom. In short children must have an audience instead of being the audience all the time. In other words children must be provided with a platform of opportunities by which they can create and express their thoughts whether it is reciting, acting, singing, writing or painting.

There is a lot of emphasis on popularization of science in schools but what about popularization of artistic abilities, which can be open to any child whatever their academic proclivities are: Arts or Science. To give an audience to the child means self expression that is the other way round when the child is the teacher and the teacher the student. And this goes beyond school curricula into the world of creativity, self expression and delight. There can be many ways of achieving this, carrying the classroom into the home.

For example, during the spare time or leisure time what does the child do? Is it only watching television or dabbling with the computer? Even if it is the latter, the computer is a great means to creative ends.We are not teaching children how to unleash this creative force which is innate in the computer. For example, there are children's sites and it is the duty of pedagogy to enable children to understand the creative force that lies behind the computer and the internet.

There is no use of talking about ICT if it is not taken also as an extension of the classroom. But unfortunately we find it being misused and both the computer and the mobile phone can be enormous sources of creativity and original thinking. The classroom today is being extended because of technology. Yet it is technology that can be brought into the classroom by the innovative teacher. To give a student an audience is to promote the better instincts of a young learner and our education system must be geared to discover latent possibilities in the child.

Very few schools seem to look at the overall personality or the nature of a child, his or her aptitude for things, what he or she likes or dislikes, what the person is vulnerable to and aspects such as the introverted or extroverted nature of a child. All these personality traits will in the final analysis make up the future child and will be a direction towards his or her vocation. I study in a school in Shillong which produced the likes of an internationally known actor such as Victor Banerjee. Yet many of his teachers say that some of his classmates were as good thespians as him but the world of studies and the vocational world are so disconnected in our educational system that sometimes or rather most of the time students make wrong choices out of compulsion or necessity.

An audience for a child is paying respect to the child's creativity, is also applauding the child's creativity and not through those brazen reality shows which I think will actually stunt the mental growth of a child. Everyone need not be an impresario, yes if someone has the acrobatics of a so called modern dancer or the talent of a master of ceremonies then these will gradually unfurl with interaction among peer group and studies. As Teachers' Day approaches so does Students' Day. When we think of Teachers' Day we must think in terms of the development of students and how students and teachers can interact upon one another leading to creativity, knowledge and self knowledge.
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