Game of education

  • Winner - Commonwealth Vision Award 2004

Education is a basic that is essential to any child’s development. Education has the capacity to shape, mould and evolve a child in a very fundamental way. The film addresses these basic tenants.

I was contemplating an idea for the script and was thinking about the different games children play, their behavior and psychology. I  was reminded of an inspiring story by Robert Fulghum from his book 'Uh-oh'. It is a short story which describes how he conceptualized an unique way of playing musical chairs. Musical chairs is a universal game played round the world with the basic rule that each time the music stops one chair and child are pulled out of the game. Fulghum observed that when the game started all the kids would be happy and excited with smiles on their face and as the game progressed there would be a spirit of competition ,kids elbowing and pushing each other to get to a chair and then inevitably the sad disappointed kid who gets pulled out. From a few minutes back when all of the kids were playing for the sake of fun, now they are experiencing disappointment ,competition and struggle.

Fulghum ingeniously flips this game around with one simple change in the rule. In this new version the music stops, one chair is removed however no kid is taken out. Every one is given an equal chance , there is no disappointment and in minutes the kids take up the challenge of trying to all be seated even as the seats are taken away. We observe kids smiling, helping each other and  working together as a team. This simple device leads to every child getting an opportunity and increasing the spirit of cooperation.  There are no winners and losers. The precious formative years of a child should not be about competition and struggle but spent in the pursuit of education which instills in us cooperation, goodwill, leadership and the potential to grow and achieve.

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