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Understanding Children through their lens is necessary in current scenario: Prof S Dangwal

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By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 5 May: A five-day workshop on Children’s Literature was held in the Department of English, School of Languages, Doon University, in collaboration with ‘Room to Read’ from 1 to 5 May to finalise the curriculum for Children’s Literature under the National Education Policy.

The Department of English has signed an MoU with Room to Read, India’s Literacy Programme in this regard. The objective of the workshop was to bring together subject matter experts from various institutions and organisations across the nation for the drafting of the curriculum of the four-credit course, tentatively titled, “Introduction to Children’s Literature”, which will be introduced as a Generic Elective Course across the university to students from different streams in the Third Semester, and Discipline Specific Elective Course to Third Semester UG students pursuing BA Honours, English, with effect from academic year, 2023. The course aims to display to the students the vast array of Children’s Literature that has been starkly absent from the course curriculum and introduce them to the varied practical as well as academic areas which overlap and intersect with children’s literature and literacy.

In the introductory session, Saktivrata Sen, Director, Room to Read, commented on the vital need to bring the academic sphere with its knowledge construction of and about children’s literature together with the practitioner’s sphere with its practical understanding of children’s psyche. Presently, the course will be rolled out for one Semester and then, in the near future, based on classroom experience of the course, the university plans to roll it out as a major course in UG and PG. The Subject Matter Experts Dr Pallavi Jha from Tezpur University, Dr Latika Gupta, Dr Prachi from Delhi University and Dr Usha Mudiganti from Ambedkar University, Delhi, spearheaded the workshop with brainstorming sessions for five days to bring out the final shape of the 4 credit curriculum, a one of its kind in the entire state. Rohini, Pushpalata Rawat, Simi Sikka, Santosh, Charles, Deepali, Vanshika Goyal from Room To Read also enriched the discussion with their practical insights.

The incorporation of the course curriculum for the young adults was envisioned by Vice Chancellor Prof Surekha Dangwal and has successfully crystallised into its present form under her supervision. She emphasised on the occasion that understanding Children through their lens is necessary in the current scenario.

Dr Chetana Pokhriyal, Dean, School of Languages, underlined the need to begin with foundational steps towards building a curriculum of Children’s Literature so that in the future the beneficiaries of the course could foray into larger issues concerning childhood, literacy, knowledge construction, percolation and distribution amongst children and young adults. Faculty from The School of Languages in attendance were Dr Vipul Goswami, Dr Richa Joshi Pandey, Shanky Chandra, Dr Gazala Khan, Swagata Basu, Deepali Bhatia and Vartika.

Research Scholars Mehul Rawat, Aporwa Siwali and Ayush Kurien from the Department of English also attended the session.