Pragat Shikshan Sanstha

Arts Education

Grant Period: Over two years

The Pragat Shikshan Sanstha is a unique educational enterprise, combining an intensive effort to develop individual children with an attempt to reach out to the children, teachers and parents in the government schools. It is also an ongoing intellectual endeavour, attempting to implement the best in educational thought and practice and to carry on a dialogue with researchers, government officials and general public.

This grant enabled the Kamala Nimbkar Balbhavan (KNB), Phaltan and the Rewachand Bhojwani Academy (RBA), Pune – the schools run by Pragat Shikshan Sanstha (PSS) and the Rewachand Bhojwani Foundation (RBF) respectively – to develop and implement an arts programme collaboratively.

The schools intended to use the arts programme to enhance staff learning, motivation and development, and increase parent participation in school activities. They were encouraged to form an advisory panel to help them think through programme. Education resource centres set up in both schools documented the project.

The collaboration worked at several interconnected levels. It introduced students to the modern arts and connected them with local traditions and culture. This was done with artists drawn from theatre, music, and the visual arts. The arts were used to help the students at the KNB to improve their English skills, and students at RBA, to better their skills in Marathi and Hindi.

The schools conducted about 10 workshops and an equal number of field visits primarily for teachers over two years. This enabled them to simultaneously develop and implement an arts education curriculum. Both schools are firmly agreed that a regular interaction between students and teachers of the two schools has only reaped advantage – not the least of which being the breaking of unnecessary stereotypes that can hold between those privileged and those not similarly advantaged.