Delhi teacher integrates art to brighten up boring subjects – Times of India


Integrating art with education comes naturally to Seema Pandey (45), Trained Graduate Teacher (TGT)-Art, at Ramjas School Pusa Road, and one of the 12 teachers from Delhi chosen for the CBSE awards this year. Pandey believes that art should not be seen in isolation as both art and artists are integral to life.

She makes a conscious effort to break the notion that “art is for the elite”, teaching students to visualise the chapters of their subjects through mundane everyday objects. Concave and convex portraits are taught using spoons before Physics classes, while Kolam, a South Indian dotted rangoli based essentially on mathematical patterns, are used to reinforce Mathematical concepts. Not one to stay away from technology, Pandey motivated her students to write a story with illustrations in their literature class, scanned the images and used a software to create a short film with children’s voice-overs. “It was my way of teaching them to integrate art with literature and IT skills,” says Pandey who graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and later bagged a Masters in Fine Arts from the Raja Mansingh Tomar University, Gwalior.

Pandey’s recent recognition from the CBSE has left her with an intent “to work even harder and live up to expectations”. The Board, she says, has been doing its bit for experiential learning emphasising on art-integrated projects for classes I to X.

Much of what Pandey teaches is in sync with this school of thought. A self-confessed Van Gogh fan and of printer Krishna Reddy, Pandey ignited students’ interest in the nationalist movement by regaling them with stories of the Bengal School of Art and its artists’ adherence to all things swadeshi. While bringing to life the Indus Valley civilisation, she taught grade VI students clay modelling, pottery, jewellery making, cave paintings and architecture “since they are our primary sources of knowledge during that age”, Pandey says.

Retention of subjects is so much better through art, feels Pandey though she does not teach art to make artists but to develop students’ personality. The poster competitions for her students are always driven by a purpose, be it a project on minimalistic living which gets students to research on zero waste towns and recycled fabrics or a project on stray animals, where she gets them “to commit to the cause”.

Her nearly two-years’ Monbukagakusho Scholarship funded by the Japanese government from 2008-10 was an eye-opener as she stayed in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital. It gave Pandey fresh insights into heritage and culture in a country where the use of gadgets and technology is widespread.

Presently, the pandemic has thrown open new challenges for her since art is a practical subject that needs live demonstrations. But every crisis, according to Pandey, is a learning opportunity as she takes her students through virtual galleries and works by the great masters.

With interdisciplinary learning post NEP 2020 giving students flexible choices, Pandey hopes they will now have the confidence to explore the vast scope of creative careers, be it in art restoration, product design, visual merchandise, gaming, film set design and so much more that are unexplored.

CBSE Teachers and Principals Awards


The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) instituted the ‘Teacher Awards’ under the aegis of Ministry of Education in 2000 to give public recognition to outstanding teachers of schools affiliated to the board. Since then, these awards are given every year on Teachers’ Day (September 5). Each award consists of a merit certificate and a cash prize of ?50,000.

There are various categories to honour teachers and principals such as primary teacher, language teacher, science teacher, performing arts teacher, fine arts teacher, school principal, among others.

Applications for the award are accepted only through the online web portal. The shortlisted applicants are invited for an online interactive session with the National Level Screening Committee. The names of the top six scorers are forwarded to the Ministry of HRD for the National Teachers Award. The shortlisted candidates are either eligible for National Awards, or for CBSE Awards as per the rules.





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