Over the next few days, African Heritage Month will be commemorated in schools across Barbados with a number of activities.
While a highlight of most schools will be the wearing of African garb, art and craft, music, drama and discussion will also feature prominently.
On Thursday, February 23, St. Paul’s Primary School will host an "African Awareness Day," under the theme One World, Many Cultures, from 9:30 a.m.?? Students and teachers will don their African wear and hair styles, and there will be an exhibition on several aspects of that continent. Spoken Word Artiste, Adrian Greene, will entertain the children, while Len Sehntwali, a parent, will discuss Music from Africa and showcase various instruments.
The Combermere School, which is a signatory to the UNESCO Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (TST) project, will also celebrate on that day, from 9:00 a.m. with a potpourri of food; dance; poetry; calypso and tuk band music, addressing aspects of enslaved persons.
The following day, Friday, February 24, students of the Garrison Secondary School, another signatory to the UNESCO TST project, will host a series of activities from 9:30 a.m. It will include a short film done by Film Garrison; a quiz on African culture and the wearing of African garb by students and teachers. The school will use the occasion to embark on its Malawi pen pal programme, as part of its Mabalozi project. This will involve posting letters to new friends in Ruarwe, an area in Africa where there is no access to the Internet.??
The Government Hill Nursery School, as well as the Olga Miller Nursery School, will host their programmes on that same day. Both schools will engage in modelling of African wear; story-telling and drumming. However, at Government Hill, where the programme starts at 9:00 a.m., students will be taught African games like Warri and watch educational videos.?? ??
The Olga Miller School, in St. Philip, will begin its events at 10:00 a.m. under the theme: Mysteries of Africa.
On Wednesday, February 29, from 8:45 a.m., the George Lamming Primary School, with the assistance of the Pan-African Commission, will mark the day with an exhibition of children’s work and African artefacts.?? Similarities between Africa and the Caribbean will be explored when Betty Ochieng, Senator Orlando Marville, Reverend Solomon Odoom and Dr. John Mwansa, Manager of Engineering at the Barbados Water Authority, speak to students on their African origins.
Grantley Adams Memorial School will also hold its programme on February 29, under the theme Women In Caribbean History.?? Teachers and students dressed in African wear will display art and craft from the start of the programme at 8:45 a.m., while dramatist and educator, Cicely Spencer-Cross, will speak on Women In Art.
African Heritage Month is commemorated by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development in February. In recognition of the fact that heritage studies is on the curriculum, schools at all levels are encouraged to mark the month with an event that draws awareness and sensitizes students to the diversity of the African continent.