NIED and Finnish-Namibian Society launches arts and crafts manual manual for primary school teachers

WINDHOEK: More than 13 years after Cabinet approved a Policy on Arts and Culture, the first manual for primary school teachers in Namibia on the subject was launched yesterday.

The policy titled Unity, Identity and Creativity for Prosperity emphasizes the celebration of the diversity of the Namibian artistic and cultural expressions; development of creative talents and skills, and acknowledge economic development.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said in a speech delivered on her behalf that the Finnish-Namibian Society signed an agreement with the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) in 2006 to further support the implementation and promotion of arts, handicrafts and culture in the Namibian education system.

She said the manual was developed over two years and nine months through workshops with teachers, discussions with the NIED Art panel members and other individuals who have interest in arts and crafts education.

The draft manual was tried out in workshops with teachers and schools several times, and was found relevant to the Namibian classroom realities.

The minister said art education strengthens children’s thinking and creativity, while also supporting the learning of Mathematics, reading and writing as well as helps learners to control their own lives in developing their ability to solve problems.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Ambassador of Finland to Namibia Anne Saloranta said studies have shown that young people who participate regularly in arts are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement than children, who do not participate.