Art and craft in schools

Harnam Singh Jamwal
For children to be creative and innovative, it is necessary to develop their interest in extra-curricular activities. With academics, a child becomes a certificate holder, but his creative interest makes him a multi-faceted personality.
There are many activities involved in the optimum personality development of a child, of which art and craft is an important part. From time to time, research has shown that students involved in artistic activities, comparatively develop a better understanding of other subjects as well. On the development of interest towards arts and a determined involvement and participation in the same, the minds of the students becomes sharp. Students who are interested in art and craft, are able to express themselves assertively. Qualities like discipline, self-esteem, and management lead to the holistic development of the personality.
To make knowledge based on textbooks progressive and sustainable, it is necessary to make education experimental and activity based. Therefore art and craft should be included in the curriculum. As a child begins to learn and understand various concepts, his curiosity to learn develops. He wants to know more about birds of different colours, mountains, sky and space. From here itself, his imaginative ability begins to develop. Therefore, art and craft are the subjects which begin to sprout right from childhood, and the student wants to learn by doing. It paves the way for the all round development of the student.
There is a lot of irregularity in students going to school in the rural areas, which is due to the lack of enthusiasm and interest. Often it has been observed that due to their social and economic status, depression symptoms are found in students and there is a lack of self-confidence and concentration. Development of art and craft makes all the students realise that they too are talented. Creative work increases self-confidence and resolves issues of inferiority complex in the students.
There is no doubt that art and craft are fun activities for students. Be it colouring with crayons or making miniature statues from clay, folding paper to create fine designing a handmade birthday card, there are several arts and crafts activities, which can enhance the interest of the children to exploit their artistic potential. By introducing arts and crafts to the kids and involving them in such activities in schools will invest in building their cognitive, physical and social development.
DEVELOPMENT OF FINE MOTOR SKILLS: Since most arts and crafts activities consist of moving fingers and hands, they help in developing fine motor skills. Simple actions like holding a paintbrush and coloring with pencils help strengthen muscles and improve their control.
ENHANCE DEXTERITY: Arts and crafts activities can enhance the children’s dexterity and agility. With the enhancement of fine motor skills and much practice, a child’s manual dexterity, artistic skills and speed will also increase.
IMPROVEMENT OF HAND-EYE COORDINATION: Engaging in activities related to arts and crafts from a very young age leads to a tremendous improvement in hand- eye coordination. This will help a child during later primary school years when he or she is spacing out words or forming letters.
Through art and craft, students learn to value and appreciate artifacts and images across cultures and times. Experience in design, arts and crafts enable them to reflect critically on their own work and those by others. They learn to act and think like designers and artists, working intelligently and creatively. They also learn about the preservation of heritage through art.
ENHANCE SELF-EXPRESSION: By engaging in creative pursuits of music and arts and crafts, students get the opportunity of expressing themselves in a positive, tangible and meaningful way.
HELPS IN SOCIALIZING: Participating, with other students in art class, gives children a chance to interact with others while sharing common interests. The process of arts and crafts also strengthen parent-child bonding.
ENHANCE CREATIVITY: The opportunity to create whatever a child desires helps foster creativity
SHARPENS SKILLS OF DECISION MAKING: A child will learn to make correct and effective decisions by facing and solving artistic challenges. This helps to develop a problem solving attitude, which in turn, will help them in the future.
ENHANCES MEMORY AND VISUAL LEARNING: A student learns about new colours and shapes through arts and crafts as well as gains familiarity with various figures and patterns. Arts and crafts not only help in the above traits but also in boosting academic performance. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for each school to conduct extra-curricular activities on regular basis for the personality, intellectual and aesthetic development of the students.