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Feb 27, 2007

Director: Secondary school festival needs improvement

Story PictureOn Monday night the 2007 National Secondary School Festival of Arts came to a close at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. The final presentation included some of the best performances of the past week. But as explained by the Institute of Creative Arts programme director, Leroy Green, although there were some excellent moments, his view of the event is that creative arts need to be taken more seriously.

Leroy Green, Programme Director, ICA/NICH
“I know that in a lot of the primary schools, once the students reach standard four they stop with the creative arts. In a lot of the high schools they don’t do it any at all. So it’s very hard when festival comes around, to have a corps of prepared young people to come on stage.”

“Several of the institutions confessed to us that at their school they don’t have anybody who is really into the arts to know what to look for, what to do, so in several cases the students they had to do it on their own or get somebody from outside who themselves might not be well versed in the arts to help with it.”

“I will repeat that I think it underlines the need for the creative arts to be taken seriously and for some one of our tertiary institutions to actually undertake teaching teachers how to teach these because we at ICA try our best, but we are only ICA, we are not in the educational system.”

“Even though we had an increase in the number of institutions, there was a decrease in number of actual participants. This occurred because last year while you had one high school entering twelve items, this year no high school did that. We two three, four, five … I think the most items from one high school was eight. Most of the entries in this year’s festival was in the area of music, very little dance, very little drama. Sad to say, in the area of visual arts, last year we had ten high schools, this year we only had only four.”

To help teachers prepare their students ICA will be holding training workshops. This year’s festival saw participation from fifteen high schools, three private music schools, and one youth group. Meanwhile, for the first time there will be a pre-school festival from March nineteenth to March twenty-third. That event will be followed by the month long primary school Festival of Arts.

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