Hyderabad: State government schools face a shortage of teachers for art and education in Telangana. Out of 181 government schools in the city, barely 30 schools have the teachers to teach art, music and craft. According the Samagra (earlier Sarva) Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme (SSA), every upper primary school with more than 100 students should have an art educator. The government, however, hired them only on part-time basis four years ago and thereafter no new recruitment had happened.
As per the SSA scheme, there is an evaluation procedure for art and work education too — for four subjects namely, computer, art, music and dance, constituting 50 marks each. As there are very few teachers for these subjects, others take these classes. Mr M. Ravinder, vice- president of Telangana Progressive Teachers Federation, said “These co-curricular activities ens-ure that children are destressed and learn something creative. But due to the shortage of teachers, the purpose is getting lost, because sometimes the existing teachers use the co-curricular periods to teach their own subjects, or else some other teachers teach them with low levels of proficiency.”
Experts say there are loopholes in the existing system, which makes the situation difficult. N. Narayana, an education expert, said “Prior to 1980s, special teacher was hired on full time basis. But later on, the RTE allowed them to be hired on part time basis. But it has been further diluted with appointments being made on contract basis. The situation had got further aggravated after contract teachers left seeking better opportunities.” An art teacher, Ms K. Sunitha, at Nehru Memorial Government School, Malakpet said that the children would be taught music, art and craft for two days in a week. She said they were paid only `9,000 month.
Children’s creative skills at risk if not trained early
Children’s creative skills may get diminished if they are not trained early enough in art and work education, said experts. Art helps students in developing visualisation and lateral thinking skills. Mr Shaik John Basheer, who conducted a workshop in theatre arts for school teachers in South Korea, stated that children could understand society through art more effectively and it increa-sed their imagination.
The government-run Mehabubiya Girls High School, Gunfoundry, which has around 400 students, had a music teacher earlier. It has been three years since she retired and there has been no recruitment since then. Though the children are interested in music, there is no one to teach. This is the case with many government schools in the city.
Ms Satya Vani Padma, who has 15 years of experience in teaching crafts using waste materials, said children should be taught all craft skills in their early ages, so that they would be engaged creatively and could use these craft techniques when needed. An early introduction to art and design helps the children to develop visual and spatial skills and helps them to interact with their environment, said the experts....