Akanksha Aggarwal shares her experience of doing an accessory designing course from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. Aditi Chakravarti speaks to her.
Name: Akanksha Aggarwal
Course being pursued: Certificate in craft and design (pottery), IGNOU
Currently doing: An accessory designing course from the National Institute of Fashion Technology
Age: 19 years
Why did you choose to this course?
I read about this course in the newspapers. Since I am pursuing accessory designing from NIFT, I thought that this course would equip me with the experience, which will be helpful in my profession.
How was your experience of pursuing this course from IGNOU?
It was very nice. I paid about Rs 500 through IGNOU to get a certificate after completing the course. To learn more, I have to pay Rs 2000 for eight classes to work at a studio. So far, I have attended about 45-50 classes and know how to handle and design clay. It has been a very good experience. The course structure is very basic but the studio, Maati Srijan, gives us a more detailed insight.
How were the study material and teachers?
IGNOU provided us with booklets and study material about how to handle clay and about the history of pottery in India, hand-built pottery practical, dynamic forms etc. Teachers like Vibha Sharma were always there to address problems and guide us. The studio provides us with clay (at Rs 200 per 10kg) to work with.
Did you face any problems studying on your own?
No, the course is not very strenuous. There is no additional pressure.
How did the distance learning and college combination work out?
The pottery class is scheduled in a very relaxed manner. There are about seven-eight classes a month. It is easy to handle the college curriculum along with this course.
How does the degree/diploma and knowledge help you?
The reason why I chose the course was that it would give me a greater experience in my choice of profession and widen my horizons. I have learnt how to give form to clay and how to provide different textures to the structures I form. Also, I have been guided in the techniques of glazing and firing. It has been a very interesting experience.
Any wish list for improving or changing anything in the open learning system?
Sometimes the IGNOU authorities are not very organised. They do not keep me regularly updated on the dates of examinations and other schedules. They keep delaying deadlines. I also wish they would send the assignments on time. But overall, the course is worth the trouble because of the kind of knowledge and experience they impart.
Interviewed by Aditi Chakravarti