Prof K C Janardhan, the Maestro, has been waging a relentless campaign to ensure the popularity of handwriting, lettering and calligraphy and through these art forms, encourage people, especially our young ones to take up the fountain pen and ink. “The fountain pen, with its negligible carbon footprint is the most sustainable among the writing options available to mankind and its efficacies cannot be overemphasised when compared to the disposable plastic dot pens which are choking our drainage systems, water bodies and are ending up in the ocean floors devastating fragile eco systems that have taken millions of years to evolve” said Prof Janardhan, ever ready to articulate his position.
“Handwriting, especially with a fountain pen and ink, helps foster the aesthetic senses, apart from leading to better retention of knowledge by the young, which has obvious benefits for our students. Besides, it also helps improve the mind-body coordination, motor functions if you may, which too have been scientifically proven to have its advantage in the overall developmental process. What is most important, however, is the fact that the act of putting pen on paper has been established as an invaluable tool to fight depression.
In these days of the digital overwhelm, when our children are increasingly using more and more time hooked on to the devices, this point cannot be stressed enough. “One of the ways to fight depression is to improve the handwriting of adolescents as a means of instilling self-confidence to get better marks in exams and controlling suicidal tendencies due to fear of failure in exams.”
In yet another step in the right direction, Prof Janardhan is all set to revive his association with the Regional Institute of English, South India (RIESI). Established in 1963, the RIE is into training Primary and Secondary School Teachers in the English language training of Grammar, Phonetics etc. Their focus is more on Government School Teachers from the Southern states of Andhra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep and Karnataka. They are normally supported by the state government funds. It will not be out of place to mention here that the Regional Institute of English, South India, Bengaluru was established as a society in the year 1963 through a Memorandum of Association registered under the Mysore Society Regulation Act 17 of 1960. The Memorandum of Association was signed among others by: Education Secretary, Government of Mysore ; Education Secretary, Government of Kerala ; Education Secretary, Government of Madras ; Education Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh ; Deputy Educational Adviser, Ministry of Education, Government of India; as per the decision taken at a meeting of the Education Secretaries and Directors of Public Instruction of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Mysore (now Karnataka) and Madras (now Tamil Nadu) in the chambers of Education Secretary, Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru on 12th November, 1962. Since then, the contribution of the organisation for the cause for which it was originally formed, cannot be overemphasised.
Dr B K S Vardhan, the new Director of RIESI is keen to revive the association between the organisation and Prof Janardhan as he is convinced about the importance of good handwriting for teachers and wants Prof Janardhan to empower them so that they can, in turn pass on the expertise to their pupils. The association, following a dialogue, refurbished by a visit of the team of staff at RIESI for an orientation to the J’s La Quill Museum established by Prof Janardhan, has taken the next logical step.
RIESI has officially given an invitation letter to Prof Janardhan to handle sessions on handwriting for Training the Teachers during the other training programmes conducted by RIESI, as an expert resource person. It is also understood that Dr B K S Vardhan, the new Director of RIESI, is also looking at the possibilities of expanding their programmes to neighbouring countries and other states. In this regard too, it is expected that Prof Janardhan, with his excellent national and international contacts will extend all possible guidance and help to the organisation to spread its wings, for the ultimate dissemination of knowledge.
Says Dr Vardhan, “I am extremely excited about the possibilities that are opening up. One cannot overemphasise the need for proper training in English as the potential of the work that can be done here, shall I say, needs to be done here, is immense. I am encouraged by the proactive steps being taken by the Government of Karnataka and am greatly enthused by the sheer amount of interest being shown by the teachers who are coming forward to equip themselves.”
“It is also heartening to note that the Karnataka State, through its current policy, gives more importance to train teachers in English and at present in about 2500 Government schools out of about 50 thousand primary and secondary schools in the state, it has started English medium sections. RIESI has already trained 3500 teachers working in these schools and has even designed a training program for supervisory officers in academic mentoring and learning assessments RIESI has also planned to assess the training needs of the members’ state by meeting teachers and officers” said Dr Vardhan.
“The importance of English in an increasingly digitised world that is throwing up opportunities that could not even have been comprehended even a decade back, cannot be overemphasised. Given the way the demand for teachers proficient in the English language is growing, RIESI must scale up its operations manifold just to meet the existing gaps, leave alone address the emerging requirements. It is in this connection that I feel, Prof Janardhan’s association will be of huge help to the organisation and the cause. We would also like to look forward to his inputs in the areas of handwriting to impart a greater amount of mind-body co-ordination and knowledge retention among our teachers.”
For More information: www.riesi.org