The embassy of Korea via the Korea Culture Centre in Nigeria (KCCN) is promoting freedom and creativity through art amongst primary school pupils in the FCT.
In an Arts Training Workshop organised for art teachers in private and public schools from the six local governments of the FCT, in preparation of the 10th Korea Drawing Competition, KCCN Director, Lee Jin Su, says the competition is aimed at fostering better understanding of Korea through images.
Images, he noted are often the best means of communication, and the latest edition of the competition now targeted at primary schools, will teach pupils cultural heritage as part of efforts to foster peace.
Tagged Freedom, the 2019 Korea Drawing Competition also marks the 100th anniversary of Korea’s Independent Movement, which saw a peaceful march for Independence by Koreans in March 1, 1919.
Expecting significant works from the pupils, Lee expressed hopes that the occasion would not only project the message of freedom of expression in both societies but also strengthen relations between Korea and Nigeria.
Lamenting the neglect of arts and arts education in Nigeria, Head of Arts Division, FCT Universal Basic Education Board, Irene Okafor, defines art as the foundation of other subjects at the primary level. She notes that before learning to write, a child learns to work with his or her hands, including making images as a means of self-expression.
The competition, she says, indicates Korea’s recognition of the importance of art to a child’s development and education, hence, its shift from secondary to primary schools.
“When art is introduced to pupils at their formative years, it helps endear the subject to them, and to study arts in future.
Helen Pemwa, Art Teacher at LEA Primary School, Wuse Zone 3, speaks of the neglect of art education in schools due to the focus on ‘serious subjects’ to the detriment of the ‘serious yet fun’ form of Art, which encourages self-expression.
“Freedom is broad. It is not only about the physical state, when one is bound but also about the state of mind. Because the mind can also be in bondage. Art can project the idea of freedom through drawings etc. It helps the children paint pictures of their mind, their society, as well aid their understanding of how privileged they are to have that freedom.”
Identifying the absence of art graduates at teaching colleges, and the inadequate number of arts teachers in schools, as the source of the neglect, Amos Bulus, of LEA Primary School, Ido Saraki, urged for the recruitment of art graduates to teach fine, applied and performing arts.
“The images they will make based on the theme ‘Freedom’, will depict real-life happenings, and in extension, lead to peace in our communities,” adds Bulus.
Scheduled to hold soon, the competition will convene 150 pupils and 50 teachers from 40 schools in the FCT at the Millennium Park, Maitama, and will see the KCCN providing all materials and requisites to the success of the competition. Winners will be awarded at a later date to be announced to the schools.