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May 5, 2015

Taiwan Assists NICH Arts Program

In July 2014 NICH received around seventeen thousand US dollars for the start of the Primary School Art Skills Training Project.  Seventy-eight students from standard two through six participated in the programme. Today, the project was awarded additional funds by the Taiwanese Embassy to boost the art program in the participating schools. News Five was at the House of Culture this afternoon when the cheque was handed over.


Diane Haylock, President, NICH

“Today we received a check for eighty-three thousand Belize dollars to continue the program for another eighteen months.”


Andrea Polanco

“Talk to us about how these monies will be used?”


Diane Haylock

Diane Haylock

“Well, what basically happened in the first phase was that Fiona Huang, a Taiwanese Art Teacher, she worked with those seventy-eight children and actually taught them art. Because as you know, the majority of the schools in Belize don’t really give our children the opportunity to develop the creative side or their artistic side. In the ceremony we held just now, we were asking the children how many of them actually had art in their school. And out of the twenty or so children who were here, only about two of them actually do and it’s more arts and craft. So Fiona worked with these seventy-eight children and what is going to happen in this next phase is that she is going to continue to work with these children and possibly some more, but she is also going to work with some teachers to teach them how to work with the children. She is also going to develop a manual, a teaching manual, that the teachers can then use so in that way the program can reach a much wider cross-section of children.”


Andrea Polanco

“Is it the hope of NICH that we see art being implemented within the curriculum across the country?””


Diane Haylock

“Absolutely. To our minds, art should be as important as arithmetic and math and English and science and everything else, but unfortunately we don’t treat it that way in terms of the priority that we do give to what the children are taught in the schools. And this is basically what this program has been trying to do, since we know that there is a deficiency in the system in providing these skills to our children.”


Benjamin Ho

Benjamin Ho, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“Taiwan students study from primary school up to twelve grade and they take art class. We do have physical education, but we also have art class. In this way, we can better education for all the students and also can help them to learn with their personality development. So we do hope likewise in Belize someday that all classes are from primary school all the way to high school, every class has art classes. So that students can enjoy their class and develop their talent.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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