The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 26 , 2014
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Now, schoolkids to have a blast with the past

- Intach hosts meet for teachers of eight city cradles, asks them to form heritage clubs

Tech-savvy teens, who may be computer whizzes and can take apart a Smartphone and put it back again, are often at a loss when it comes to mythology, historical art or architecture.

Moved by the urge to fix this, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) started on Tuesday a two-day workshop for teachers of eight city schools, who in turn will form heritage clubs in their respective cradles.

Director of heritage education and communication service, Intach, Purnima Datt and consultant-cum-programme coordinator Bashobi Banerjee have come all the way from New Delhi to guide teachers on how to run these clubs.

Teachers of Motilal Nehru Public School and St Mary’s English School (Bistupur); Chinmaya Vidyalaya and Jusco School (South Park branches in Bistupur); Hill Top School (Telco); Dayanand Public School (Sakchi); JH Tarapore (Dhatkidih) and Kerala Public School (Kadma) took part in the workshop.

The workshop was inaugurated at Centre for Excellence by Jamshedpur-based conservationist Biplab Ghosh.

While telling teachers about the importance of heritage clubs in schools, it is also putting stress on what students can do to preserve the past and how the youngsters will benefit from knowledge outside classrooms.

“There are some 2,500 heritage clubs with 15 lakh-plus students. Students learn about heritage in general and we engage them in activities. We also have a thematic quarterly magazine, Young Intach, where we invite articles from students. The last issue is on postal services and the next one is on folk art,” said Datt.

Amitava Ghosh, co-convener of Intach in Jharkhand, however, rued the fact that although they had invited 50 schools, only eight turned up.

“Our plan is to sensitise students about our glorious past and how it can be restored. We have plans to conduct activities with schools. This workshop is to train teachers in this regard,” he said.

The schools, too, hope to contribute their bit. “We will form our heritage club from the new session in March. Activities will inculcate patriotism in children, who will learn to appreciate our culture,” said Puneeta B. Chouhan, Hill Top School principal.

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