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Integrating Craft Skills in School Education

Education at all stages has been regarded as a powerful instrument for social transformation. The major task of education in India today is to usher in a democratic, socialistic, secular society which removes prejudices among people. The objectives of introducing crafts in schools is to help in the realization of these goals. Therefore, not only does it form an integral part of the school curriculum, but has its ramifications into other subjects of the school curriculum.

The programme of Action of the National Policy on Education of 1986 states that the basic emphasis in interlinking education and culture should be on helping a child to discover his latent talent and to express it creatively. This can be achieved through a participatory process using their immediate environment, giving special emphasis to curriculum reorientation and motivating teachers to interact with the students at different levels.

Handicrafts in this country are an important part of our rich cultural heritage, which serve to satisfy the aesthetic needs of man and provide a vehicle for his urge for self-expression. The real significance of handicrafts lies in the newness and surprise of each object.

Today we are losing not only our ancient heritage but also an essential element in our social composition which has been a strong cementing force. Crafts in schools gives an opportunity to revive and keep active the rich heritage and cultural traditions of our country and encourages creativity among students. During the Workshop on ICSSE, the teachers learn 3 to 4 crafts in-depth. The crafts which are generally taught are Pottery, Clay Modelling, Papier Mache, Mask Making, Tie & Dye, Rangoli, Wall decoration, Cane Work, Bamboo Work, Book Binding, Paper Toy making, etc. Lecture-demonstrations and slide-shows are arranged on a variety of topics related to Indian Handicrafts and Culture. Special emphasis is laid on “Aesthetic in Crafts”. Sessions on use of CCRT’s Educational Material for creative activities in curriculum teaching are also organised. The workshop is approximately of 10-11 days duration.

Objectives of the Workshop

  • To revive an interest in Indian Crafts and study their relevance in contemporary life.
  • To help teachers to value and recognize the importance of local craft resources.
  • To guide teachers to formulate a syllabus for teaching Crafts/SUPW/WE in schools with the new awareness created during the Workshop.
  • To learn about the life-styles of craftsmen and recognize their role in society.
  • To instill in teachers, the importance of value and moral education and to suggest projects that can be taken up while working for the welfare of the community.
  • To inculcate values of social service and dignity of labour.
  • To develop an aesthetic sensibility relevant to Indian Culture.

Community Service forms an important component of these Workshops. Emphasis is laid on the training programme providing a bridge between traditional crafts and modern techniques. Attempts for innovations in the use of craft traditions in the modern society are also made. Interaction with school children is also an essential part of the training programme.

A few CCRT Educational Publications with Audio-CD’s are gifted to the school through the participating teacher after successful completion of the said Workshop.