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Parent Orientation Session organized by JK Arts Foundation at HEE MAA Public School

JK Arts Foundation has organized a number of workshops in order to assist children discover their inner artists while learning about the numerous tribal artistic traditions of India that deserve public attention. Pursuing the mission of nurturing the creative aspirations of children from disadvantaged communities and democratizing ‘Arts in Education’ through the use of disruptive technology and the integration of visual and performative arts and museum experience-based learning into formal education, the Foundation organized a parent orientation session at HEE MAA Public School located in Jagti township, Jammu. Jagti township is a camp which was established by the Government of India at Jagti Nagrata near NH44 in 2011 to provide accommodation for the Kashmiri Pandit migrants who had been displaced from the Kashmir valley during the turmoil of 1990.

HEE MAA Public School is the result of the struggles of its founder, Shri Roshan Lal Bhat, to provide quality education to the children of his community. Brought up in a camp for Kashmiri Pandit immigrants at Mishriwala since 1990, he was requested by members of his colony to establish a school for their children. The Public High School Mishriwala began in seven tents, was shifted to a rented building in 1996 and a building of its own was constructed in 2005. The school was promoted to the 10th standard in 2009. When the Jagti township was established, a number of camps including the camp at Mishriwala, with the students of the Public High School and their families, were moved there. Bhat established the HEE MAA Public School in the township in a rented building. The name of this school was inspired by Hindu mythology, with HEE standing for Lord Ganesha and MAA meaning Devi Saraswati. This school was recognized by the Government and J&K Board of School Education up to the 8th standard in 2014. The school was recognized up to the 10th standard in 2017. A two-storeyed school building for this school has already been constructed but the third story awaits completion.

Overcoming the impediments of poor internet connectivity and other technical difficulties, the virtual session began around 11:15 AM on 28th May, 2022. The cooperative but anxious parents of the students of HEE MAA Public School had a number of questions for the Founder of JK Arts Foundation, Geeta Vaishnavi. They were concerned as to whether they would have to pay for the workshops the Foundation had proposed, whether the children would have to bring their own art supplies and whether the children, already over-stressed due to their curricular activities, would be able to make time for artistic endeavors.

Geeta Vaishnavi addressed all of these queries patiently. She explained that all the workshops offered by JKAF will be free of cost. Children will be provided free art supplies for all on ground workshops. As for the issue of stress, Vaishnavi explained that the very purpose of integrating art with education was to alleviate stress and to instill creativity and confidence in children using fun and play based pedagogy.

In the end, parents were delighted to interact with JKAF team and appreciated the support of the school authorities in making the virtual orientation session a success. Shri Roshan Lal Bhat expressed his excitement in collaborating with JK Arts Foundation. Rightly pointing out that many students talented in various art forms never get to realize their full potential due to the lack of arts in education, he assured that the Foundation will receive full cooperation from teachers and other staff members.

JK Arts Foundation, thanks to this successful session, is now one step closer to realize its goal of reaching children from remote locations and lead equity in arts education.


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