More than news & views - A complete source for South Asians

February 2002







By Dr. Harnek S. Kaile


Good education is the basis of every educational programme and audio-visual equipment is an integeral part of it.

Audio-visual equipment is that equipment which helps us in forming a clear concept about an item, without written or printed words. Though the most clear concept about an item can be formed by direct contact only (just as concept of an orange can be formed best only by seeing and tasting it), yet there is such a large number of items in the world that it is practically impossible to have a direct  contact with each and every item. Audio-visual aids help us in this respect.

With the help of audio-visual aids, the teacher can create situations with which the lesson becomes lively and effective. The children learn the lesson attentively and it is but natural that they will remember the lesson for a long period. Sometimes, active participation of the children (like touching a model, putting flash cards on flannel board and finding a city on map) is sought while using audio-visual aids and it makes the lesson interesting. The classroom environment becomes congenial and natural and the children learn everything happily.

Use of audio-visual aids in education is not a novel idea. The ruins of famous educational centre Takshila reveal that pictures related to history of India were engraved on the walls of some of its rooms. Pictures concerning religious stories of Ramayan and Mahabharat, made on cloth, were popular among the people. Education was also given to the people through puppet shows.

Use of audio-visual aids for teaching various subjects began in fifteenth century. Erasmus was against cramming and he emphasised that the children should be taught through pictures and other aids. Later on, Comenius, Rousseau, Pestalozzi and many other educationists supported his view. 

For the first time in independent India, All India Educational Conference discussed the use of audio-visual aids in January, 1948 and, since then, many educational conferences and  commissions have stressed upon the use of aids.

Black-board is the cheapest and most usable aid. A good teacher always makes use of it while teaching any subject to any class. In lower classes, the handwriting of the children can be improved by writing beautifully on it, problems of mathematics can be solved on it and if the teacher is expert in drawing, he can teach various lessons effectively by drawing  beautiful diagrams, maps and graphs on it. Now, boards with green, yellow or blue colour are also available and known as chalk boards.

Maximum use of pictures should be made for teaching children, specially children of lower classes, because they are keenly interested in pictures. A small child can learn alphabet through pictures. he does not understand that 2+3=5 but he will do so easily if two and, then, three sparrows are shown in a picture, to be counted five in all. He will learn to take care of his eyes and teeth with appropriate pictures. Likewise, while teaching about the life of people in Canada, pictures from Canada should be shown to make the lesson interesting and life-like. Pictures can be taken from newspapers, magazines etc.

Charts also have an important place in teaching. Small children can be taught reading by showing a word and the appropriate picture on a chart. A story can be taught effectively by showing pictures (on a chart) relating to its different stages. Diagrams of science practicals and pictures related to various historical events can be shown on a chart.

Flannel board (a piece of flannel fixed on wooden board) can be used for teaching numerous items in an interesting manner. Flash cards can be placed on and removed from it as per requirements.

For teaching history and geography effectively, the use of maps and globe is a must. Map of India should be used while teaching historical events of India. Map of the world and globe reveal how various parts of the world are linked with one another and where one country is situated with respect to another.

Models - made of clay, cardboard and wood  -  can be used for teaching those items which cannot be brought in the classroom. Elephant can be shown in the classroom in the form of a model. Appropriate information about Taj Mahal or Bhakra Dam can be given with the help of their models. A proper study of parts of human body - ears, eyes, nose etc. - can be done with the help of a model.

A large number of lessons can be taught with radio. Through it, they come to know about the views of those famous teachers who cannot reach every school. Most of the radio stations broadcast programmes for school children, like A.I.R. Jalandhar's programme 'school broadcast'.

Most of the children are glued to TV sets and enjoy various entertainment programmes. Special programmes should be telecast from the Doordarshan for them. Capable and experienced teachers can teach lessons of different subjects effectively on Doordarshan with the help of aids like chalk board, models, pictures, charts, flannel board, maps and globe. Of course, personal contact between the Doordarshan teacher and the students cannot be there and the latter cannot put any questions to him.

The teacher should not be expected to prepare charts, models etc. because apart from classroom teaching, he has to perform certain other duties also. So it becomes essential that the Education Department should prepare aids for various lessons of different subjects for different classes, supply the same to the schools and arrange seminars for teachers to encourage them to make use of them.

Last, but not the least ! It should be remembered that merely the use of audio-visual aids does not make the lesson successful. If the teacher does not know how to use the aids properly, even a large number of aids cannot help him. Use of appropriate aids at the appropriate time is essential for successful teaching.



DR.HARNEK SINGH KAILE, Ph.D.(Education), M.Phil(Education), M.Ed., M.A.(English), M.A.(Punjabi) has 28 years' experience as a lecturer in a college of education, and is presently Principal, G.H.G.Kh. College of Education, Gurusar Sudhar, Distt Ludhiana(Pb.) India. He has published many research papers, including Bharti Sikhya Churahe Te (in Punjabi) which has been translated into English and is being serialised here.


Dr Kaile can be reached by e-mail at