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Govt challenges visual art teachers

Life & Style
Hope Masike

PRIMARY and Secondary Education ministry acting secretary Olica Kaira has challenged performing and visual arts teachers to seriously monitor classroom learning and performance activities to help produce practically competent students in addition to good passes.

Taking inspiration from the success of the recently held National Schools Arts Gala, Kaira — who also presided as the guest of honour — said the Annual Sport Science and Arts Festival (ASSAF) which had been shelved due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns would soon be resurrected.

The arts gala brought together representatives from seven provinces out of the 10 in Zimbabwe with schools from Harare hogging the limelight in film, music, dance and visual art.

Kaira said the Primary and Secondary Education ministry fully supported ASSAF which ran under the theme Celebrating Cultural Diversity Leaving No One Behind Through Music And Movement.

This year’s event coincided with the end of the first seven-year cycle of the Continuous Assessment Learning Activity (Cala) framework for primary and secondary education in Zimbabwe which started in 2015.

“Our teachers have facilitated the learning of science and technology right from ECD A to Advanced Level. It has provided our pupils with cognitive and practical experiences that have helped them understand and interpret the natural world,” Kaira noted.

“It is now paying dividends that we introduced our pupils to these learning areas from the very beginning of the infant module education cycle and further expanding on their knowledge, skills and attitudes from Grade 3 to Grade 7 up to when they finish their education cycle.”

The second day of the arts fiesta featured mbira player Hope Masike as a guest performer.

Masike, through her educational background, career as a performer, visual and literary artist, has inspired many.

The third and final day of the festival was graced by several government and private sector officials and was characterised by glitz and glamour through music, modelling, visual art displays and corporate exhibitions.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe official William Ndinde reiterated that the conceptualisation of the schools gala makes one visualise that cultural activities tend to take centre stage in all learning activities because learners use all their senses to express good artisanship.

“All over the world the arts are used as the main drivers for socio-economic and political growth. Everything starts with creativity and developing the concept into an innovation which has to be managed by the creative mindsets or implementers,” Ndinde said.

A schools collaboration of a 10-piece marimba band, which had students from Prince Edward, SOS Hermann Gmeiner and Glen View High, was a marvel to watch, while the concert bands awestruck many as students performed renditions of popular circular music.

The modelling showcase led by Harare Girls High teacher Ruth Chieza was a cut above the rest as it showcased the very best of fashion and design by students.

A Chaplin High student Stabile Mtigo, inspired many people with her Cala drawing.

“These Calas keep us glued to schoolwork and are often tedious,” she noted.

Roosevelt Girls High School students Tiffany Chagonda, Nicole Udinge, Lyndelle Moyo were on cloud nine after realising that they were on the right path in pacing up their music assignments in line with Cala.

Prince Edward student Collen Nyanhongo stunned government officials with his Spirit of Nehanda figurine.

The students who participated in music, film, dance and visual arts were awarded gold medals.

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