Dreams of Picasso

Arts & Culture Bangalore

Schools in Bangalore have been focusing on theoretical subjects more than the art curriculum decided on, hampering the mindset of children and their parents when it comes to art.

Indian education has been inspired to give more importance to theoretical subjects from its conception. Studies like art and other cultural-based curriculums come under the umbrella of “unimportance” for schools in Bangalore, and this could be affecting the outlook that students may develop towards arts and culture as a feasible sign of profession and an occupation that could fetch a decent amount of revenue.

Poonam Prabhu has been based in Bangalore for the past decade. Migrating from the city of Kolkata, she has settled in Whitefield with her husband, two daughters and her son. Her younger daughter, Aatira is 13 years old and aims of becoming a ballet dancer by the time she is 25. She studies in Narayana E Techno School and is in Grade Ten.

Poonam specifies – “She used to dance from the time she was a kid and when she was four, we enrolled her for dance classes nearby. But it is something to ponder about if she decided to take this up as a profession. In our place and where we come from, it is difficult to allow children to go for fine arts as a profession, because we don’t know whether their wish would help them stand out or not, especially in terms of becoming independent and earning money.”

Patricia Rebello is a 58-year old art teacher based in Kolkata and who did her schooling and college in Bangalore. She believes that art is mostly looked down upon as a profession in Indian society and it is very difficult to set one up independently.

She says –“Art is subjective in terms of perception and most Indians are not really open when it comes to perceiving art in a positive manner, as a source of stability and income. Putting one’s talent definitely goes to waste when it comes to this because most parents try to deviate their children from pursuing it.”

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) had uploaded a 222 page document  on the art curriculum that schools need to follow in 2008, stating -“the need to integrate arts education in the formal schooling of our students now requires urgent attention if we are to retain our unique cultural identity in all its diversity and richness.” – acknowledging the downfall of the curriculum of arts in Indian schools.