Kids asked to draw on PM’s pet projects for contest | Mumbai news

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Education Commissionerate has announced Season 6 of Priksha pe Charcha, inviting students between Classes IX and XII to participate in a painting competition. The list of choices has led to a flutter among educationists and artists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with students of this demographic every year, just before they take their respective board exams. This year, the PM will speak to them on January 27. However, before he does so, various activities are organised across the states.

On Saturday, the commissionerate announced the painting contest to be held on January 25, where the participants will be allowed to take a pick from ten subjects. Some of them are: ‘G-20: India’s move towards becoming a world leader’, ‘Azadi ka amrit mahostav’, ‘Surgical strike’, ‘India number one in corona vaccination’, ‘Various schemes of prime minister for public service’, ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, ‘International Yoga Day: Modiji caught the world’s attention’, ‘Beti bhacho, beti padhao’ and ‘Modi’s sensitive decision of women freed from chulha fumes’.

Artist Suhas Bahulkar, felt “except one or two topics” the others “seemed like political propaganda”.

“It would have been appropriate if students were asked to work on topics of the freedom struggle with the concept of ‘Azadi ka amrit mahostav’,” said Bahulkar, adding that it is “necessary to consider the age, understanding and innocence of children while giving them subjects to paint”.

“It is easier for both students and examiners to fathom subjects with clear concepts,” said Bahulkar.

An art teacher from a rural school in Kolhapur, who did not wish to be named, said, “Some of these subjects are beyond the imagination of village students, many of them tough to put down on paper even by art teachers. Students enjoy painting on subjects they see around them. In such competitions, they tend to choose easy options.”

Vasant Sonavni, former dean of Sir JJ School of Art and an expert on children’s art, said, for contests such as these, authorities must bear in mind the age and emotions of the participants. “Also, examiners should also give marks keeping in mind the age group while declaring the results. Painting is a medium to bring out ideas in children’s minds.”

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