Let's Start Art: Visual arts education in Govt Primary Schools
“Greatness of a nation is built upon the foundation of early education".
Let’s Start Art, by Shuruart Foundation (Not for profit, Section 8 Company), is a program to improve the literacy skills of children through visual arts. We work with a selected set of Government Primary Schools in Varanasi, focusing on the foundational literacy of children through Arts-Integrated Learning. We aim at improving creativity, literacy, thinking capability, and imagination in the students, through ART.
Why do we work?
Children studying in government primary schools are experiencing a learning gap. In Uttar Pradesh, education in government primary schools needs improvement and support. Through Let's Start Art sessions, we strive to provide quality education to students of government primary schools by making learning an enjoyable and engaging experience
What do we do?
How do we work?
Let’s Start Art sessions are conducted fortnightly across 20 Government Primary Schools of Varanasi by a team of 6 professional artists. These art sessions are conducted on topics taken from primary school textbooks.
We work on -
- Encourage them to read the chapters on which the workshops are based
- Better retention of chapters. since the children read the chapters, discuss them with our instructors, and then draw their ideas, all of this ensures better retention of what they study in school
- The children are encouraged to draw their observations of their surroundings. This leads to improving concentration and developing a creative eye to look at things.
Story of a Child
"My mother tells me that I didn't walk for a very long time during my childhood. I used to crawl everywhere. My parents were worried all the time, they went to all the temples and prayed to God so that I could walk. Then one day, when I was four years old, I saw a mango on a tree and crawled towards it, and in an attempt to get the mango, I stood up. My mother was really happy. After this, I slowly started walking.", told Laxmi, a student of class 5th at Government Primary School, Aditya Nagar, while explaining her drawing.
Let's Start Art sessions enable children to express emotionally significant experiences through drawing as well as talking, while relating them to the relevant chapters from their textbooks, so that we can spark children's interest in learning more about the subject.
According to Understanding Excellence in Arts Education, research by Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, there are multiple significant purposes of Art Education at the school level that are closely linked to the community and different learning contexts. The research articulates what students ought to learn from high-quality arts education, falling into seven broad goals.
- Foster broad dispositions and skills especially the capacity to think creatively and the capacity to make connections
- Teach artistic skills and techniques without making them primary
- Develop aesthetic awareness
- Provide ways of pursuing an understanding of the world
- Help students engage with the community, civic, and social issues
- Provide a venue for students to express themselves
- Help students develop as individuals
The National Education Policy suggests the adoption of experiential learning methods including arts-integrated learning and story-telling-based pedagogy as standard methods of teaching for all subjects (section 4.6). It explains Art-integrated learning as a cross-curricular pedagogical approach that can be used as the basis for learning concepts across subjects. The policy also acknowledges that Art-integrated education can help create joyful classrooms (Section 4.7), and result in a better teaching-learning experience.
In the previous academic sessions, children of five schools have made murals on the premises of their school under the supervision of our art instructors (Government Primary schools at Bhadaini, Nagwa, and Orderly Bazaar, Sonarpura, Durgakund). The objective of these murals is not only to inspire enthusiasm among children, but the murals are enlightening as well. It fosters respect for the school among children.
Artist support and employability
While we work for the children from government primary schools, Let’s Start Art sessions also work as an employment opportunity for the art instructors who work with us on a part-time basis. Through Let's Start Art sessions, these artists also gain relevant experience with children, taking them a few steps closer to pursuing their careers as resourceful art teachers. The remuneration they receive for art sessions helps them self-finance their education and practice their art.
WHERE YOUR DONATION GOES
Monthly expense for conducting art sessions in 1 school (2 sessions per school):
a) Instructor's Remuneration: 3250 INR
b) Conveyance & other overheads: 700 INR
c) Art supplies: 910 INR (26 Rs/copy X 35 Students)
d) Contribution towards Mural: 1000 INR
e) Marketing and Outreach: 250 INR
f) Administrative (20 per cent of a+d+e): 900 INR
Total: 7,010 INR
Amount to be raised for 10 months
for 20 schools 14,02,000 INR
What the supporters would get:
- Monthly report of the sessions
- Regular updates through our Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram of every session
Lead Arts Instructor
Chandan Kumar Sahu