An Overview
Multiple functions of Indian Puppetry
Skilled Craft of Indian Puppetry
Inanimate to Animate in Indian Puppetry
PUPPETRY FOR EDUCATION
Educational Puppet Show in School
Introduction

Puppetry plays a vital role in education. Puppetry, for instance, has been applied very well by the Total Literacy Campaigns (TLCs) in India to throw up role-stereotypes for and against literacy and the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP). Launched in 1994, DPEP aims at achieving the Universalisation of Primary Education (UPE). Practice of puppetry in primary, secondary and higher secondary schools, teachers' training colleges and youth clubs has been conducive to personal development.

Educational Puppetry in India

In a vast country, which has been the homeland of so much traditional puppetry, puppets are still relegated to their religious moorings. Since contemporary puppetry has hardly taken off the ground, their role in education -- which basically comes from the contemporary awareness, with an understanding of such disciplines as psychology, sociology and pedagogy --- has been only minimal. The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) is doing some laudatory work, in training teachers at various levels on puppetry in education. The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), along with its State bodies like State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), has been encouraging puppetry in education. Many schoolteachers have been working in isolation for promoting puppetry in education, apart from some voluntary organisations who also use this medium. Puppetry is not a part of educational curriculum all over the country (barring a few states). Educational experience in puppetry is confined to the urban schools and seldom reach remote areas where education itself is mostly out of reach for the children and school dropout remain the single major deterrent to education. Engaging of puppet teachers, let alone skilled puppeteers, hardly arises in the framework of school education. Rural schools can hardly afford to introduce puppetry on their own, due to the paucity of school-funds and a heavy syllabus loaded on the young minds. Puppetry has started being used in DPEP now.

Conclusion

Interest in the educational use of puppet theatre has brought a new partnership among educationists, schoolteachers and puppeteers. Since puppetry can be developed under the patronage of educational associations and institutions, its use has gone up vastly in the 20th century, making it possible for even the illiterate to access and understand his religious teaching. It is important to bring the same enthusiasm and endeavour into educational puppetry to reach the child as well as the common man.

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