By Yunus S Saliu
In their quest to raise awareness of stakeholders, particularly government, parents, and students on creativity, the members of the Latrikunda Sabiji Upper and Senior Secondary School Arts and Crafts Club on Saturday staged arts, crafts, and performing arts exhibition in an event held at the school ground in Latrikunda.
The exhibition organised by the club led by Lamin Jallow, head of the department of arts and crafts, explored the exhibition of the students’ artworks, live drawing, and performing which included drama, poetry, dancing, singing, displaying of culture and cultural activities, storytelling all gear towards raising awareness of the parents and relevant stakeholders.
Addressing the spectators at the event, the invited speaker, Mamat Sallah, Assistant Director of Museum and Monuments at the National Centre for Arts and Culture who is also a professional digital photography artist commended the management of the Latrikunda Sabiji Upper and Senior Secondary School for able to establish an arts and crafts club in the school to amplify awareness raising in the creative sector.
Mr. Sallah amplified the importance of arts and crafts in school and community while he encouraged parents to support their children in this course thus it can be their future career, “as it has a unique ability to improve and give good life in countless ways.”
He noted that arts and crafts also have crucial roles to play in the development of the nation as other sectors are doing.
However, he raised his call to the parents and government to support arts works so that more students will have an interest to become a professional in the field.
Lamin Jallow, head of the Department of Arts and Crafts who is also the head of the club disclosed that the club is 12 years old and “we have been engaging in numerous activities which including exhibitions in the school and other events particularly at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) among organised exhibitions that we were invited.”
The purpose of organizing the exhibition, he noted, is to motivate people to engage in the creative sector, particularly arts and crafts, “and for parents to always encourage and support their school children in the course because art is a life that has to do with many different areas of life.”
Mr. Jallow went further that constant exhibitions will help people to develop an interest in artworks.
He said most of the students have an interest in the subject but do not like doing practicals “not because they are dull but because of the fund to finance the practical which needs money to buy some materials to work with.”
This is one of the major reasons the school in conjunction with the club always invites parents and stakeholders to the exhibition to allow them to see what their children are doing and many things they can do if they have the means, he explained further.
Mariama AS Jallow, an arts and crafts teacher who joined the school in 2017 affirmed that the students can do far better in the creative industry than what they are doing now if they have the support.
“The students are performing well in this area but they need some financial assistant to enable them to display their talent when it comes to practical,” she revealed the students’ constraint.
Despite inadequate financial support from parents to the students to take arts and crafts seriously, the hardworking teacher says “We will not give up on them because we know the importance of it in the children’s future especially those who might not be able to make it to university because of one reason or another.”
“Amazingly,” she said, “the female students are doing very well more than the male students when it comes to practical and when it comes to performing arts they are all exceptional.”