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Farhana Ferdausi

Introduction to Department of Craft (2020)

It is a major objective of the Department of Craft, University of Dhaka,for young students as well as for future artists to express their commitment to traditional heritage and folk culture as a means of expressing their creativity. The diverse forms of millennial Bengali culture that are reflected in various ways in the rich repertoire of handicrafts, to elevate the status of art and modern society, making it acceptable is undoubtedly a difficult task.Especially for young students, who have no idea about handicrafts and lacking training opportunities,they have been teachingstep-by-step about handicrafts and practical education for six long years.Creating the right environment and implementing it for them is difficult.Recently, the prevailing ideas in the international arena and the role of students in the country's commercial arena, the academic activities of the department are being conducted keeping in view the visionary plan.In addition to developing the young student as a craftsman, the department has a variety of opportunities,part of a diverse work planto use his creativity in various ways.

State-sponsored art and craft as the main pillar of education in art and craft in Bangladesh, the College of Art is currently in the process of changing the turning point, aninternationally recognized institution as the Faculty of Fine Art. Although this institution was formed in 1948, the departments that were introduced in it after its transformation into a college in 1973 included the department of Craft.The expectations, initiatives, and activities of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin are to be remembered with deep respect in building this institution of fine art. He wanted the students studying in this institute to have the opportunity to get practical education as a whole.The activities of this department started fully from 1972.In 1983, the institute was renamed Institute of Fine Art as part of the administrative structure of theUniversity of Dhaka.In 2008, the Institute of Fine Art was recognized as the Faculty of Fine Art.
Artist Junabul Islam, the founder of the present department of craft, was appointed as the teacher of this department in 1968. He was the Chairperson of the department from 1968-1990 and then retired as an Associate Professor. After that, Professor Abdus Shakoor Shah, Professor Mohammad Nazib, Md. Faruk Ahamad Mullah, and Md. Abdul Momen served as the Chairperson of the department for different terms, respectively. Mrs. Farhana Ferdausi is the active Chairperson of the department. Eight teachers have been appointed in different positions in the department and are conducting the activities of the department smoothly.
Fifteen new students are admitted to this department every year.According to the rules of the university, admission test activities are conducted for the students of the Faculty of Fine Art through  the ‘ca’ unit.
Introducing students to detailed concepts and contexts related to handicrafts,the creation of the necessityeducational opportunities as well as the flourishing of their own artistic ideas,and nurture optimal sponsorship is part of the department's action plan.Crafts are the daily habits, manners, behaviors, tastes, beliefs, superstitions of the people, intimately involved with values, discipline, religious and cultural practices.Therefore, the ability to use it as a commercial product and creativity as art are correlated.Learning more about batik, tapestry, weaving, embroidery, patina, batik, tie-dye, screenprint, applique, fashion design, drawing, design, sketch - all are part of the curriculum of this department.
From the academic year 1992-1993, the department of craft introduced honors courses.Earlier, the teaching period of craft at the institute was five years.Thedepartment introduced B.F.A in 1982 and M.F.A in 1989.In the current syllabus of the department, students have to complete 25 courses in four years at B.F.A. level and a total of nine courses in two years at M.F.A level.It is the responsibility of the department to complete the initial stage of developing the new student as an apprentice craftsman in the B.F.A. curriculum.The purpose of formulating the M.F.A level curriculum is to develop the learners mature and efficient in various fields of art including craft as if they are able to keep their signature in various works as artists.
The lessons related to crafts of the students of this department do not end up only discussed by the teacher in the classroom and written by the students and participating in the test. Instead of unilateral participation, students and teachers make such activities successful through bilateral participation.
In the curriculum of the department, lectures, interactive discussions of students, slide presentation, documentary display as a teaching method,  theoretically and analytically discuss, museum visits, tutorials, oral examinations, written test performance after teaching courses. etc.are the measurement to assess students academic performance.
The higher education activities of this department are not limited to the teaching of B.F.A. (Honors) and M.F.A. courses at the university level.
Expansion of large education through higher research at M.Phil and Ph.D. level and also to promote thedevelopment of folk culture in the international arena is the goal of the program.
Students and teachers of this department regularly participate in the annual art exhibition of the Faculty of Fine Art.Besides this, their presence in the Zainul festival and Zainul fair is noticeable.Organizing lectures by talented artists and experts by the department, participating in art exhibitions from different countries,department curriculum support programs are mentioning to be conducted as supportive activities.
The activities of the department are conducted regularly through the joint efforts and commitment of the students and the teacher’s educational activities of the university are progressing steadily.