This blog explains the arts education curriculum plan.
#VisualArt #Craft #Music #Dance #Theatre
Given the status of arts education in our country, the need to integrate arts education in the formal schooling of our students now requires urgent attention if we are to retain our unique cultural identity in all its diversity and richness. For decades now, the need to integrate arts in the education system has been repeatedly debated, discussed and recommended and yet, today we stand at a point in time when we face the danger of loosing our unique cultural identity. One of the reasons for this is the growing distance between the arts and the people at large. Far from encouraging the pursuit of arts, our education system has steadily discouraged young students and creative minds from taking to the arts or at best, permits them to consider the arts to be ‘useful hobbies’ and ‘leisure activities’.
Arts are therefore, tools for enhancing the prestige of the school on occasions like Independence Day, Founder’s Day, Annual Day or during an inspection of the school’s progress and working etc.
Before or after that, the arts are abandoned for the better part of a child’s school life and the student is herded towards subjects that are perceived as being more worthy of attention. General awareness of the arts is also ebbing steadily among not just students, but their guardians, teachers and even among policy makers and educationalists. During a child’s school life each student is given information about different subjects such as history, literature, sciences etc. and they are then able to make a choice of whether they would like to specialize in different streams of learning such as humanities, science or commerce. If the child is not given any exposure to the arts we are not giving the child the option to study arts at higher secondary stage.
Arts in India are also living examples of diversity of its cultural fabric. Arts will enrich the lives of our young citizens through their lifetime, not merely during their school years. An understanding of the arts of the country will give our youth the ability to appreciate the richness and variety of artistic traditions as well as make them liberal, creative thinkers and good citizens of the nation. Repeated recommendations for integrating arts education in the school curriculum have not been implemented so far, and if we continue to relegate the arts as a mere extra curricular activity, or as a tool to teach other subjects, we may face the prospect of further artistic and cultural ruin. If, arts education is not introduced as a subject in school curriculum, it will continue to be an amusing, entertaining fringe activity alone, to be indulged in if and when there is time to spare from other more ‘useful’ activities. Students will not be aware of the rich and varied artistic traditions in the country, of the vibrant and ever evolving nature of creative arts, and will continue to learn only the occasional song or dance of dubious worth.
Following is a set of recommendations suggested by the National Focus Group on Arts, Music, Dance and Theater, in the National Curriculum Framework-2005:
- Arts education must become a subject taught in every school as a compulsory subject up to class X and facilities for the same may be provided in every school. The streams covered by the term arts education are music, dance, visual arts and theatre, with a special emphasis on Indian traditional arts and crafts, which currently face the threat of being drowned out by so called mainstream and popular arts.
- School authorities must acknowledge in practice that arts are to be given significance in the curriculum and not just restricted to being so-called entertaining or prestige-earning activities. They must permit and actively encourage students to study the arts.
- Emphasis should be given on learning than teaching in arts education and teachers should have participatory and interactive approach rather than instructive.
Time Allocation in School for Arts Education
Pre primary stage
In pre-primary classes, usually total duration of working is 4 hours, five days a week. Although all the curriculum will be transacted through art forms, at least 1 hour each day should be allocated for experiential practice of art forms.
Primary and Upper primary stages
- 2 periods a week for activities of drawing, painting and sculpture/ clay modelling.
- 2 periods a week for activities of craft (e.g. Origami, Best out of waste).
- 2 periods a week for activities of music (e.g. Preparing Songs, Poems).
- 2 periods a week for dance activity.
- 2 periods a week for drama related activities (e.g. Role plays, drama from textbook).
During the secondary stage arts education as a compulsory subject requires equal time distribution as for other subjects. At least 6 periods (3 block periods) should be allocated for practical activities and 1 period should be allocated for theory.
Higher secondary stage
During the higher secondary stage arts education as one of the compulsory subject requires at least 8 periods (4 block periods) for practical activities and 2 periods should be allotted for theory paper.