Amole Gupte, writer, creative director and actor of Bollywood, whose Taare Zameen Par has changed the camaraderie of parents, teachers and students, is back with yet another children delineation ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’. Made with a shoestring budget, this creation is different as it has been shot with hundreds of school children over theatre and cinema sessions on weekends and holidays
Pragya Gupta, digitalLEARNING Bureau, finds out his real life experience on education system in India and ‘Stanley ka Dabba’
How do you see education system in India?
School Education is lacking; even college education system till graduation is lacking foresight. I do not know where it all begun but it has all began wrong. It could have began with lord Mqualis stable where he wanted strong horses for moving his machinery to India but that is 220 years ago. There is no need to continue that system and we should be relying on 5000 years of wisdom rather 200 years of English wisdom. So traditionally, the entire wisdom of our nation has been towards self sufficiency where we required to be independent of any other nation and for a long time sustained with ambassador and Padmini cars. But 1991 changed it and then everybody wanted something which was not made here. What is not made here is just an assembly unit. If you want worker for that assembly unit then that vocational guidance is rubbish. Vocation in a true sense is artful and it should be independent, thought provoking and stimulating. So if you are trying to do a course in cinematography, then I feel that it is a lovely vocation too as it opens vistas of cinema or documentary to capture extreme important footage that is something I would subscribe to definitely not for someone just plays with nuts and bolts all his life and calls it a vocation because that is technical.
Please share your experience with students while doing ‘Stanley ka Dabba’?
I did not teach them, i shared my knowledge. I shared my knowledge with the children in the school as my friends where outdoor activities were given a priority over a classroom teaching learning. It is done in good faith and friendship, with high absorption level. In theatre workshop, cinematography workshops, there is 100 per cent love to learn new art which shows that they are absorbing through the making of ‘Stanley ka Dabba’. The movie was shot as only as theatre and cinema sessions in one school on Saturdays for a period of year and a half with two recesses. It is about imparting and sharing education-cinema, theatre, art and dance education. So the result is there to taste in that ‘dabba’.
How do you see the acceptance level among parents in India for vocational studies?
It is low. You have to learn from your children. You don’t need to teach your children because you will be teaching old stuff. First of all parents should free their mind from unnecessary responsibilities which is putting shackles on their own children’s feet, and is not fair. You are imprisoning your child’s imagination and her or his energy and that is really depriving them from self created opportunities, which can be easily followed in independent child system.
How can this issue be addressed?
Mindset has to be changed as there is no result from the old system. There are two million unemployed graduates and I think that is very conservative estimate and is an old figure of 2001. The truth at the ground level is dismaying. There are many more because they went on the wrong path. There are millions of the same kinds. The education is so general that it is not providing the specificity to the learning young adult then how that young adult will find a job. It is going to be a national of unemployed people at the end of the day which it is actually.
Policy makers need to understand if they do not address the issue of employing one billion plus population then they have a problem at hand
Do you think vocational studies will help coming from this state?
Of course! The idea of opening it out in more than one stream, not just vocational studies say Art, will teach and train them the a-to-z of vocational studies. Do not just limit child, painting and drawing sunset with river, one boat and two mountains. That will be shortening your child’s imagination. You don’t pick your own child’s pocket; you have to fill that pocket with new ideas and better imagination. In order he or she can create job from himself or herself.
Please throw some light on your new movie ‘Stanley ka Dabba’. ‘Taree Zameen Par’ has left great impact on the parents mind. What magic would this flick do this time?
It has message of bonding and friendship. It has messages of honesty in children, it has message of hunger and thrust because it is about tiffin box and recesses. It is an invitation of your own childhood, to your own school days, your own recesses, which is a wonderful time of life perhaps apart from mugging up system we have gone through. Rest of those is very interesting. ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’ is a simple film for the universal audience, and will be enjoyed by anyone from age 6 to 160 who has been to school in some part of their lives,
This time it will impact the parents mind more because, they want their children to see this film. Parents would like their children to get an impact. It is the other way around this time.
Any idea or advice for the policy makers you would like to share through our magazine?
When your system is not accepting its faults and putting blinkers as if it is never existed then without correcting this malady of unemployment and mismatching requirement where the job provider has something in this hand and job seeker has something else in this hand they will never marry and therefore it will not be fruitful.