City schools go for their very own literature fests

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 03 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Come December and all schools in the city take some time off academics to get busy with their annual celebrations and festivities. This year, many schools seem to be trying to get their students to put down their gadgets and pick up literary books.

Arya Vidya Mandir in Bandra (W), which is hosting its annual festival called Utkarsh, has themed it around renowned Hindi writer, playwright and actor Dr Bhisham Sahni. On the first day of the festival on Tuesday, students from Class IV to VIII presented a show depicting the life of Sahni.

"We wanted to introduce students to a personality they were not very aware of and Sahni has a lot of great work to his credit. Students spent a week before the festival researching the various aspects of his life," principal Jyoti Kumar said.

Sunita Bali, a teacher at the school, said there was a need to introduce pupils to such literature. "This way students develop an interest in reading," Bali said.

The school also themed all competitions around the same topic.

Recently, the Oberoi International School dedicated a whole week to literature. For a week, students engaged in activities with Curtis Jobling, author and illustrator of children's books, and Niall De Burca, an Irish storyteller.

Schools in south Mumbai celebrated a no-textbook day on November 21, with several schools introducing their students to authors and books to hel develop the reading habit. Teachers feel there is a need for schools to take the initiative.

"It is important that students learn about culture and the best way to do this is through books," Vilas Parab, teacher, Balmohan Vidyamandir, Dadar, said.

At the school, students were asked to pick books by their favourite Marathi authors and read these in class.

Schools also facilitated interactions with authors. "We invited Sachin Uchil and his daughter, Yashashree, who have written the book Batatawadai Puram Adventures and More. The girl is only 15 years old and was an inspiration for the students," Freny Mehta, principal, Alexandra Girls Institution, Fort, said.

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