A city school has found a delightful way to educate students about gender issues and moral values through images pasted on walls.
Mahadevi Birla World Academy, Park Circus, is using its walls as a learning tool to reinforce concepts that are taught in class.
The school’s walls have been decorated with images that teach students the value of unity, equality and honesty.
These images also break gender stereotypes. One of the images portrays a woman as a police officer, a scientist, a detective, a farmer and even a drummer.
On another wall hangs a map of India where each state is represented by its people in their traditional dress.
Their clothes look different but these people are part of the same country.
This image introduces the kids to the concept of unity in diversity.
“When our children see the images they start thinking about them. Slowly but surely the messages in the images get conveyed,” said Nupur Ghosh, vice-principal of the school.
According to Ghosh, apart from the students being taught about gender equality in class, some images on the walls depict all kinds of roles that a woman can play. “It generates curiosity in children and makes them question the stereotypes,” she said.
“In roleplay, when students dress up as a farmer or a police officer or even a scientist, they usually dress up as a man. But these images tell them that it is not alone the job of a man,” said Ghosh.
In several books for kids, stereotypes are reinforced consciously or unconsciously where the man’s job is to go out and earn and the mother’s job is to take care of the household.
The school has also shown the woman as a homemaker, a role often denied the respect it deserves.
“Children also need to realise that the role of a homemaker is a full-time job and often in many families the mothers are not given their due respect,” said Ghosh.
The school has asked the teachers to make lesson plans keeping the depictions on the walls in mind.