TSWR Fine Arts School: An institution that gives wings to children's dreams

The school is the first of its kind which is for the underprivileged and marginalized communities. Here, students do more than just study; they sing, dance, act and do so much more.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  24 Feb 2022 11:16 AM GMT
TSWR Fine Arts School: An institution that gives wings to childrens dreams

Shivanand played the child version of the lead character in the 2019 Telugu movie of `Mallesham'. For a child prodigy, the role was a means to fulfill his wish of keeping his mother happy and buying her a lot of ornaments

Coming from Telangana Social Welfare Residential (TSWR) Fine Arts School Malkajgiri, he played the role when he was in Class VII. At the time of the casting, Shivanand had no formal acting training or certification. He is now in Class X at TSWR Fine Arts School.

"It was a proud moment for me. I never imagined I'd be seeing myself on the big screen. My parents were even happier and I don't know how to express my happiness," Shivanand says.

He hopes to take up acting as a serious career. He is a student of the Film Technology in the school. His friends- Nikhil, Yellesh, and Srilakshmi were also cast in the film alongside Shivanand in Mallesham.

A school for academics and arts:

TSWR Fine Arts School is the first of its kind which is for the underprivileged and marginalized communities across the State. Spread over 9.5 acres, the school was established in 2017. It follows a very unique model of education. Here, students do more than just study; they sing, dance, act and do so much more.

In addition to Maths, Social Studies, Science, etc., students can choose a fine art as per their interest in Class VI. They are guided to attain professional certification in the same.

Fine Arts Disciplines taught in the school include Music (vocal and instrumental), Dance (Kuchipudi and Kathak), Painting and Drawing, and Film Technology and Theatre Arts. All 535 students from Class VI- XI at the Fine Arts School choose one Fine Arts Discipline which is taught every day for three hours from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.71 students are enrolled in the Painting and Drawing course. 43 students are learning Kathak. 50 students are learning Kuchipudi, 27 students are learning Guitar, 37 students are learning Keyboard, 29 students are learning Tabla, 18 students are learning Mrindangam, 19 students are learning Violin, 26 students are learning Hindustani Vocals and 52 students are learning Carnatic Vocals.

All the school walls are covered in vibrant murals drawn by the students.

Film Technology is the school's latest edition with 163 students. This discipline offers courses on direction, cinematography, scriptwriting, and acting. This discipline offers courses on direction, cinematography, scriptwriting, and acting. Prior to Film Technology, the school has Theatre arts. Now, the two are combined.

Learning through films:

Sarita, a class VIII student was explaining the many flaws that she could identify in Telugu movies. Sarita chose the direction course as part of the Film Technology discipline. "I find that the antagonist has not given enough importance in a lot of movies," she says.

Sarita used to watch movies for fun. "Since I have taken up this course, I see the technicalities and try to decipher what the director has to say in the film through visual art," she says.

Sarita recalls times when she didn't know how to write film critics. But now she can explain all the technical aspects of the film- cinematography, screenplay, and more in a jiffy.

All Film Technology students are shown movies of various genres and languages as part of their curriculum. Saritha says she has learned about politics, economics, and various other topics from the movies.

Arts to concentrate better in academics:

Manju Latha Mandapakala, Consultant/ Mentor - Fine Arts Department says that the curriculum has been designed in such a way that equal importance is given to both academics and fine arts. "I have personally observed that the students enjoy in their three-hour fine arts classes every day. Practicing various forms of art helps them concentrate on their academics better," she says.

Manju Latha has helped design the fine arts curriculum since the inception of the school. "Our school's primary aim is to show students Fine Arts don't necessarily have to be a hobby. Hence, we ensure students receive certifications in their respective disciplines so that they have a choice to take up Fine Arts as a career," she says.

TSWR Fine Arts School Principal V Jayanthi said there are only 80 seats every year that open for Class VI. An academic and skill set test is conducted annually for the intake. Most of the students opt for Painting and Drawing. "We give all the support children need so that they can balance both academics and fine arts. The children are on par with all subjects and have received several accolades in academics," she said.

"When the students join us in Class 10, we teach them the fine arts courses for 3-4 years. We follow the syllabus of various music colleges. By the time children are in Class 9 or 10, they will be eligible to sit for exams certification exams by renowned universities like Trinity college London, Sri Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, and more," Manju Latha explained.

She added that by the time they clear Class X or Intermediate, the students will have certifications in their respective discipline along with academic board results.

Art as a means of livelihood:

V Charan, a painting student dreams of studying at the Royal College of London and becoming a professional artist. Charan has begun monetizing his skills by designing photo studios and drawing wall art in his hometown.

"I scarcely remember having difficulty in studying before I began art. But now, I can concentrate better. For some reason, I think painting has helped me concentrate on studies," Charan says.

He also stood second in the recent NTPC State Level Competition.

V Rajkumar a Tabla player and Class VII student earned Rs 30,000 in the lockdown. "I charged Rs 2000 for each show that I performed at in my village and performed in 15 such shows. I am from a very poor background. So this was the first time my parents say so much money," he says. He said that the knowledge he gained at the school helped him to perform, earn and support his family during the pandemic.

Learning and teaching:

Hasil Leon is a first-generation guitar player from Khammam. A Class X student of the TSWR Fine Arts School, Hasil had never touched or held a guitar before he joined the school. He had only seen a guitar in movies and he was enamored. Now, Hasil is an expert in Guitar and Drums as well.

Hasil has cleared two grades (musical) and received certification from Trinity College London while pursuing his academics in TSWR Fine Arts School. "I didn't even know how many strings a guitar has when I came to this school. I just knew I wanted to learn how to play it. Now, I can play almost all of my favorite movie songs," he says.

Sirisha, from Mahboobnagar, is only a Class X student but she already has four students back in her village in Mahboobnagar district. Sirisha is an avid Kuchipudi dancer and took up teaching dance during the lockdown when the classes were conducted online.

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