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‘Let’s not be horses with blinkers on’

Special Correspondent

Rangayana Director says education should help broaden perspectives



Stressing on development: K.T. Chikkanna, Director of Rangayana, beating a drum to inaugurate the children’s theatre festival in Shimoga on Monday.

SHIMOGA: Director (in-charge) of Rangayana, Mysore, K.T. Chikkanna, on Monday likened the present education system to a horse with blinkers on and said it has not allowed students to diversify into activities that would broaden their perspective on life. Instead, students are being made to only focus on studies.

Mr. Chikkanna was here to inaugurate a children’s theatre festival that has been jointly organised by Rangayana of Mysore, the Swedish ITI and the Department of Kannada and Culture.

He said that human life could become enriched if people were exposed to various facets of art and culture. “But as I see it, the present education system does not seem to offer children any opportunities for enrichment of their lives,” he said.

‘Means irrelevant’

Mr. Chikkanna said that knowledge coming from various sources was of significant importance in making life meaningful and that the means to acquire it hardly mattered. “What is important is the acquisition of knowledge,” he said, adding that art and culture played a vital role in helping children strike a healthy balance between education and knowledge.

He said that an agreement was entered into with the Swedish ITI in 2004 to make theatre an integral part of education. He said that over two lakh children had been involved so far in theatre activities through this initiative.

He said 3,000 teachers had been trained under this programme and had been taught to slowly orient the children towards theatre, without causing any disruption in their study routine.

Similarly, nearly 2,000 youngsters who were pursuing theatre under the banner “Rang Kishore” were also trained, he added.

Film artiste Mandya Ramesh, theatre activist Vinod Ambekar and Assistant Director of Kannada and Culture N. Harikumar were present.

The festival got off to an enthusiastic start with the presentation of the drama “Satru Andre Satra” written by children and directed by Mandya Ramesh.

The other dramas to be presented during the fest are: “Giddu Tailorana Sahasagalu” written by B.T. Desai, “Ajji Kathe” written by Dundiraj, “Hakki Haadu” written by Vaidehi and “Pustaka Panditya” written by Gajanana Sharma.

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