It's the schoolteachers' turn to attend classes — even if the lessons promise to be more than just dreary lectures.
The Delhi government plans to hold special screenings of Bollywood blockbusters Munna Bhai MBBS and Rang De Basanti as a part of its teachers' training programme to be held in the Capital over the next three weeks.
The two flicks are part of the management skills module of the training programme. "Munna Bhai... illustrates the need to introduce a humane touch to life. A teacher may be very efficient, but if he or she cannot empathise with the child, the teaching process is incomplete," said an education department official.
Similarly, Rang De Basanti has been chosen as an inspirational model for bringing about change, "not necessarily through violence". "The idea is that if you want change, you have to accept responsibility first," the official added.
The movie screening is not the only unusual choice. Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara, who has been fighting a pro tracted legal battle to get justice for her slain son, will ad dress the teachers at the inaugural ceremony of the programme on Saturday afternoon.
"She is an unusually strong woman who has maintained her calm through the worst of times. She will share her experiences and life's lessons with the teachers, tell us how it is important to stay balanced even in times of crisis," an official said.
The largest exercise of its kind so far, the training programme is expected to be attended by over 50,000 teachers of government, MCD, NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board and private aided schools.
For government and municipal schoolteachers often found playing hookey from regular classes, there is no escaping these training sessions.
"Training is a must for all. Everybody needs to keep learning emerging concepts in their field of expertise. These sessions will introduce them to concepts in life skills as categorised by WHO, nutrition, body image, body mapping, stress management, laughter therapy, yoga, adolescent and puberty issues, prevention of the spread of HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and inter-personal skills. All these modules are part of Yuva — our programme for schoolchildren. For imparting training to kids, teachers have to be trained themselves," said Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.
While the education department has prepared a complete handbook on adolescent issues, new areas like body mapping have also been explored with the help of NGOs working in the field.