Acting Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Senator Lucille Moe. (FP)

Barbadians can now receive a National Development Scholarship in the area of Art Therapy.

Acting Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Senator Lucille Moe, pointed this out recently at the Awards and Appreciation Ceremony for the student artists who worked on the Living Art Wall mural project at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters, Constitution Road, St. Michael.

Senator Moe said the wall, along with the scholarship in Art Therapy, signalled a “movement” and ongoing initiative at the ministry to leverage the Arts to transform the face of the educational system.

“What this ministry sought to capture through this wonderful, creative mural project entitled Living Art Wall was the importance of developing the creative arts in our educational system. This first “Living Art Wall” mural project is, however, just the beginning of wonderful things to come….  Our commitment has even extended to the approval of the discipline of Art Therapy as one of the areas in which Barbadians can receive the prestigious National Development Scholarship,” the minister stated.

She explained that while STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) continued to be relevant in educational systems worldwide, recent research confirmed that STEM had to become STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, “since the Arts are critical not only for showcasing students’ creativity, but also for fostering their ability to think both practically and abstractly”.

The senator said the Arts assisted students in developing 21st century skills, such as problem solving, communication and collaboration, which education officials encouraged in the local education system “at all levels”.

She further noted that the ministry intended to use murals across primary and secondary school plants to beautify them, adding that art helped students to become better learners.

“Through a strategic approach by this ministry to mural making across schools, and hopefully in other public spaces, we hope to secure the legacy of our country’s varied master muralists, like Mark Maynard, Omowale Stewart and our own Don Small, whose expertise and passion for his craft is evident in the work that we celebrate today. It is hoped that for you students, this will not be the end of your artist’s journey, but will signal a new beginning.

“Along with your work for CSEC Visual Arts and CAPE Art and Design, the successful completion of this project hopefully enabled you to see what you are capable of accomplishing not only artistically, but in any other area of your lives where hard work and dedication are required,” the senator surmised.

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