What is Warli Painting? | Tribal and Folk Art

Warli painting is a wonderful aspect of the tribal and folk art scene of India.  Warli painting began around 10 AD.   Tribal folk who lived in certain regions of Maharashtra and Gujarat began to draw paintings on the walls of their huts.  Warli paintings are very simple, and at the same time, are very elegant.  Warli paintings use circles, triangles, squares, dots, dashes and lines and depict the life as well as animistic or nature worship of simple tribal folk.  Warli painting in fact sometimes depicted the rhythms of life of these tribal folk in an elegant manner.   In Warli painting, bamboo twigs have been used as a paintbrush.  Ground rice made into a paste along with water and gum were used to depict simple scenes of living and survival of tribal folk.  Scenes such  as dancing, harvesting, hunting and … Continue reading

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Learning about Folk and Tribal Art – Madhubani

It is heartening to hear that more and more importance is given to art and music in schools and colleges.  Art and music can breathe life into the educational sphere.  In fact, art and music can be soulful and thoughtful and help children express the awesome scenes of this world with a sense of wonder, sensitivity and humanity.  More and more children are learning about folk and tribal art of India like Madhubani and Worli art.  In fact, Rangoli, Kolam, mehendi and any other artistic design, though it has become traditionalized, is also sometimes a part of the folk and tribal ethos.  Art in many cases expresses the joys, sorrows, victories and struggles of human beings and our very blood, soul and spirit. In a wonderful initiative that can help children learn beyond textbooks, Google has started a kind of … Continue reading

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Importance of Students Reading and Learning beyond the Textbook

The textbook has been one of the centerpieces of education.  With many child-friendly reforms in place in boards like the CBSE, textbooks are becoming more and more interesting.  In addition, they encourage discussion and active learning.   Another amazing aspect is that in the future more and more textbooks will become digitalized with more audiovisual inputs which will make learning even more joyful.  Earlier, many textbooks were written in a monotonous manner and were very dry.  Students used to literally “sleep” through many textbooks like the History, Geography and Civics textbooks.  In addition to that, it is very important to encourage students to read and learn beyond the textbook.  This will prepare them well to have a comprehensive knowledge about different topics.  For example, when students learn about the harmful effects of chemical pesticides and other environmental topics, books like Rachel … Continue reading

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Can we create empowering and collegiate environments in schools?

Are there more joyful and nurturing ways to be in groups rather than the top-down leadership and management approach?  This is all about exploring how educators can facilitate the evolution of democracy in all spheres of life and empower students.  Earlier, students were discouraged from speaking up in class and even asking questions.  There was no room for discussion.  The teachers themselves were stressed out by the curriculum and the rules and regulations imposed by headmasters and headmistresses who in turn were pressurized by sinister power-mongers.  It was due to the criminal imperialistic forces in play which are still there, but at least, there are many reforms with democracy becoming more and more a reality in many places.  With the rise of democracy, people’s voices are being heard instead of people just praying for benevolent powers and leaders.   Students are … Continue reading

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Challenges of Implementation of Right to Education Act

What is the Right to Education Act? Education is a basic human right.  It empowers citizens of a country to navigate through a complex world and can be a great leveler too.  The right to free quality education is enshrined in the constitutions of most modern nations in the world including India.  Keeping this in mind, the right to free and compulsory education act came into being on April 1, 2010.  It gives legal sanction for Implementation of free and compulsory education for children from 6 to 14 in a neighborhood school. The right to education prohibits any kind of admission in school through capitation fee, donations etc., screening procedures like interviewing of children or parents, etc., and provides for admission of children through a random and unbiased manner in a neighborhood school. Prohibition of physical or mental harassment. Earlier, … Continue reading

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Is there a Level Playing Field in Education in India Today?

Is there a level playing field in education in India today?  It is certainly not in most parts of India.  Government schools still have a long way to go to offer quality education.  They cater mainly to poor and oppressed communities.  Private schools are becoming more and more commercialized, moneyed and even more exclusive.  They are based mainly on financial resources of parents.  How can the poor who have been poor due to the perverted and evil caste system and other social challenges ever dream of even decent living conditions let alone the right to education?  Who is going through the man-made “hell” in India?  Sensitive NRIs and “foreigners” who visit India are usually in for a great shock to see the level of poverty and suffering of the poor in India.  Mother Teresa was so disturbed when she was … Continue reading

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