Nat Geo Assignment: Through the Eyes of a Child

Nat Geo Assignment: Through the Eyes of a Child - Kristian Bertel
Schoolchildren, India submitted to ‘Through the Eyes of a Child’ on National Geographic.

 
 

See the National Geographic photo assignments that Kristian Bertel has participated in – Read the story about his photographs here…

Kristian Bertel has contributed to the National Geographic Your Shot community with an assignment called ‘Through the Eyes of a Child‘. For this assignment curated by Gabby Salazar a photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer wants us to photograph the curiosity of a child. To remember the first time we saw a firefly or the first time we lay down on our backs and looked up at the stars. When we are young, the natural world is full of curiosities. Children can find endless fascination in an anthill or spend an hour watching caterpillars munch away on leaves. As adults, it is easy to lose touch with the awe we once felt. Our busy lives tear us away from the leisure of discovery and we stop paying attention to the little details that once inspired us.

As Gabby says it: ”- For this assignment, we are asking you to think back to when you were first experienced nature as a kid, the wonder and curiosity as if you were seeing it through the eyes of a child. If you have kids in your life, we hope that you will go on an outdoor adventure together and document their journey of discovery as you explore a park or other natural area together. If you do not have children, think of ways to show us nature as a child might see it. Try playing with different perspectives and think about how you can illustrate the joy of discovery in an image. We’d love to see images that are fun and whimsical, show us little feet squishing in the mud or what it feels like to lie down in a field of wildflowers. Climb a tree, splash in a stream, or hike up a mountain and create images that make us want to be there with you”, she says.

About the submitted photograph
The photographer chose to submit a photograph of two schoolchildren in India. ”- I was not simply looking for showing a portrait of children, I wanted the image that tell a story about the wonder, joy, and curiosity that children have. ”, the photographer Kristian Bertel says.

The school system in India
The school system in India has four levels that are lower primary, which is age six to ten, upper primary, which is age eleven and twelve, high, which is age thirteen to fifteen and higher secondary, which is age seventeen and eighteen. The lower primary school is divided into five standards, upper primary school into two, high school into three and higher secondary into two. Students have to learn a common curriculum largely, except for regional changes in mother tongue till the end of high school. There is some amount of specialization possible at the higher secondary level. Students throughout the country have to learn three languages namely, English, Hindi and their mother tongue except in regions where Hindi is the mother tongue The present day education system in India has come a long way and the age old traditions have undergone a makeover to produce an ecosystem that is evolving every single day. A few reasons why education in India is given less importance in some areas are that eighy percent of schools are managed by the government. Private schools are expensive and out of reach of the poor. More hands to earn remains the mentality amongst many families and therefore little kids are set out to fend for the family over going to school to garner an adequate education, in the most literal sense of the word. Infrastructure facilities at schools across rural areas and in slums dispense very poor quality of education. The teachers are not well qualified and therefore not well paid and therefore are not willing to work hard enough.

”- The really critical aspect of Indian public education system is its low quality. The actual quantity of schooling that children experience and the quality of teaching they receive are extremely insufficient in government schools. A common feature in all government schools is the poor quality of education, with weak infrastructure and inadequate pedagogic attention. Twentyfive percent of the Indian population is illiterate. Only seven percent of the population that goes to school managed to graduate and only fifteen percent of those who enrol manage to make it to high school and achieve a place in the higher education system”, the photographer Kristian Bertel says again.

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Assignments & Stories - National Geographic Magazine »
Our World in Motion - An Assignment on Nat Geo »
Your Shot - National Geographic Magazine »
Kristian Bertel’s entire gallery on Your Shot »
Showcase of Kristian Bertel’s Your Shot »
Kristian Bertel’s website »

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