Blogs > Environmental Education > Role of films in education

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 15, 2007

" .there is very little evidence to show that videos are used in the classroom, especially at primary and upper primary level, though impact can be huge considering the visual memory of children at that early stage. However, videos are used by institutions at higher levels: I had the chance to attend a programme on ’Forced Migration’ organized by Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi and we were shown documentaries and films on displaced people and refugees, followed by a discussion. It was a very good experience since it actually provoked questioning about the problems and issues. The impact is everlasting........
........First and foremost, there is a need to develop documentaries, videos and films on issues like environment protection, health, social learning and so on, where students can be taught through examples from their neighbourhood. It would not only make them aware and sensitize them but would also develop articulation and comprehension skills. Learning can be more fun. "

Geeta Verma
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi


"Schools are not uniform entities. There are schools and schools. Most of the time, local communities have no control over it. There have been several initiatives such as the Village Educational Committees which are supposed to input into and control the school bureaucracy. But the power structures in the village are such that all these committees, especially in areas where the poor and powerless live, have never allowed them to have any control over them.


We run a school called Green School which is a five year school for the poorest – mainly dalits. In this school we have used various kinds of videos, but not the ones produced by children. Because the Project Method, which we normally use in the school, is a very slow process and takes a lot of time. We have developed child-reporters integral to their learning, but they work on photo cameras and tape recorders with which we produce wall-papers on each of the projects.


Bringing in video for this (in spite of the fact that we have abundant video resources within DDS) proves very expensive, slow and needs a lot of attention. Though one might start with a video or two in the beginning, to keep this process going might be very, very difficult for rural communities and rural schools.


At one point of time when our school was collaborating with some Municipal schools in London, our children produced some short videos to explain their families, their agriculture, their festivals and their contexts to English children in a series of ‘video journals’. One video called ‘MY SCHOOL’ was a fascinating one bringing out how children from deprived rural families see their school and their education.


Many years ago, when I was a TV producer working for SITE, I produced very location specific, participatory videos for primary school children in rural areas of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. But it was a huge programme backed up by several institutions such as state educational institutions, state governments of AP and Karnataka and the Government of India, as well as ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). Even with that backing, the way schools used the video was a big sham. In AP, hundreds of thousands of video players and TV sets are kept in school cupboards for years: there is no enthusiasm at all to use them.


All these are very complex issues hinging upon the power of teachers in their schools (I am using this in a negative sense because teachers often abhor any extra work and are backed by their powerful unions], the power of the community to take control, as well the interest of the community to engage in these issues.


At the end of it all, all these innovations suit the elite schools and not the community schools in rural areas which need a whole transformation that needs the collaboration of multiple agencies.


In summary, let me say that while in theory video in schools is a very good thing, it is extremely difficult to get into action on that. I am quite pessimistic."


P V Satheesh
Deccan Development Society
Hyderabad

Dr. PV Satheesh was one of the pioneers of the SITE programme. 
SITE (Satellite Instructional Television Experiment), the ISRO-NASA satellite TV project
 
Source:
ICT for Development Community, Education Community" <se-ictd_se-ed@solutionexchange-un.net.in>

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