Preserve the spirit of school arts festival

All efforts to cleanse such practices and eliminate middlemen, who make money and vitiate the atmosphere, have come to nought.

Published: 30th December 2022 02:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2022 02:07 AM   |  A+A-

Arts Festival

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo| A Sanesh)

While briefing the media on the preparations for the Kerala School Arts Festival, which will begin on January 3 in Kozhikode, Education Minister V Sivankutty expressed hope that from this year, the competition will be among the budding artists themselves and not among the parents or teachers. There’s no doubt as to what the minister had in mind. In the past, parents and teachers often turned the festival venue into a “war zone”. Scenes of students and parents belligerently confronting the judges when the decision goes against them were aplenty. Parents and teachers have failed to educate their wards and themselves on facing failures with grace and equanimity. The instinct to defeat the “rival” by any means has conquered the finer emotions, which is out of sync with the ethos of an arts festival. Through unethical means, parents pump in thousands of rupees to secure prizes or an ‘A’ grade for their children.

All efforts to cleanse such practices and eliminate middlemen, who make money and vitiate the atmosphere, have come to nought. Equally disturbing is the increasing number of appeals—a fallout of the system introduced to help address genuine grievances. We see now that almost every participant who is denied the first place is rushing to the appeal committee. When the appeal is denied, parents approach the courts. Some lawyers specialise in appearing in such cases, charging enormous amounts for their service. The appeal system has grown into a major irritant, affecting the conduct of the festival. Organisers are kept guessing as a student may turn up with a court order at the last minute. Apart from creating confusion, it upsets the entire schedule of the festival. Children in full costumes and make-up wait hours for their turn and finally present their item in a half-awakened state. The government has finally decided to allow only a specific number of appeals at the district level to restrict the number of participants at the state fest. But this alone will not solve the problem.

A change is required in the mindset of the parents and teachers. They must realise that participation itself is joy and not defeating others. Organisers, parents and teachers must come together to preserve the spirit of the festival and make sure that the talents of the children are not belittled.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp