Chalk n Duster is a 2016 Indian drama film about commercialization of the Indian private education system, starring Juhi Chawla, Shabana Azmi, Zarina Wahab, Girish Karnad and Divya Dutta. The film talks about teachers' and students' communication, and highlights the problem of teachers and students in an educational system which is changing day by day.
The film was directed by Jayant Gilatar, written by Ranjeev Verma and Neetu Verma and produced by Amin Surani.
Upon release, the film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The Hindustan Times said, "It’s a well told ethics versus greed story".
The film was made tax free in the North Indian belt.
The film is the emotional journey of two teachers Vidya (Shabana Azmi) and Jyoti (Juhi Chawla) who is serving at a Mumbai–based high school. Their passion and love for teaching bonds them in a special relationship with their students. Their gratification is good grades and the moral values they strive to impart to students. However, in an evil turn of events, a wicked lady, Kamini Gupta (Divya Dutta), is appointed as the principal, thus changing the fate of the administration.
Vidya is one of the senior staff members at this fair to middling educational institution, which has thus far functioned smoothly. Everything changes with the appointment of the new principal. The teachers face unpleasant surprises when the popular and considerate Indu (Zarina Wahab) is replaced by the ambitious and cut-throat Kamini, who aspires to upscale this middle-class school. Teachers' chairs are removed from the classrooms, the tea is no longer free and subjects are juggled so that, for example, the overweight Hindi teacher is now assigned physical training.
All of this is too much for the good-hearted Vidya, who suffers a heart attack after a sudden and unfair dismissal. In solidarity, her friend and colleague Jyoti decides to take on Kamini and the misdirected board of trustees, led by Anmol (Arya Babbar). This entails using a TV channel as a platform for reminding viewers that teachers need support, recognition and more pay.
The drama ends with a recovered Vidya and Jyoti taking on a Who Wants to Be A Millionaire-style quiz to win Rs.5 crore. The trade-off is that if they lose, they will have to accept their termination. Vidya and Jyoti use their talents and win the quiz battle. Unwillingly, the trustee Anmol signs the bank cheque of 5 crore rupees. The principal Kamini apologizes to Vidya and Jyoti publicly through over the TV show. At the end, Vidya reveals that she will be handing over the money to former principal Indu to build a school where no teacher will be discriminated against and students will have a good education for less cost.