Kolkata, Feb 9 (IANS) Aamir Khan's film 'Taare Zameen Par' has been an eye-opener for harried schoolteachers in West Bengal's Burdwan district.
At their wits' end in dealing with recalcitrant children, teachers in the district, around 273 km from Kolkata, have found the film 'inspirational enough' to tackle slow-learners and habitual troublemakers in the class.
The district primary school council has obtained video CDs of the film and is playing them for 4,500 teachers under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The weeklong training for primary school teachers is meant to stress the need for a 'proper and joyful learning system'.
In the film, Aamir Khan, who plays an art teacher, helps fellow teachers, an eight-year-old boy and his parents come to terms with the child's learning disability (dyslexia).
Aamir Khan's novel teaching methods and sensitivity to the child's problem help unravel the ordinary student's extraordinary talent in painting. The boy, once derided by teachers, is much admired.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with the written language, particularly with reading and spelling. It results from differences in how the brain processes written and/or verbal language.
District council chairman Sahidul Haque mooted the idea of screening the film for schoolteachers at a meeting with additional district magistrate Abanindra Nath Singha recently and the proposal was accepted at once.
'Aamir's role should be the role model for every teacher,' said Haque. The circle inspectors of the council have hired television sets, VCD players and pirated CDs for screening.
The film's distributor in the east, Venkatesh Films, said the shows were illegal.
Haque, however, said he had procured 'original CDs'. But Venkatesh Films said CDs and DVDs of 'Taare Zameen Par' had not been released yet.
Manager of Venkatesh Films, Debasish Sarkar, said such shows would be illegal before the DVD of the movie is released. 'VCDs and DVDs are only for home entertainment and not for public viewing. We will lodge a complaint,' he said.
Singha said he was not aware of whether the CDs were pirated or genuine.
Teachers, who watched the show, said they had learnt a lot from the film. 'We often neglect students like the boy in the film. We'll treat them differently now,' Nabarun Chatterjee, a schoolteacher from Ranigunj, said.