Although 11 secondary schools, nine primary schools and two nurseries participated in this year???s showing of the Schools??? Exhibition at the Barbados Manufacturers??? Exhibition (BMEX), Chief Media Resource Officer of the Media Resource Department (MRD), C. Walter Harper, is calling for more secondary school participation in the 2015 showcase.

He made this appeal on Monday as he addressed the prize-giving ceremony for work showcased at BMEX, in his department???s auditorium.

???Our infant and primary schools traditionally have been populating our booth, but we want to see more work from the secondary schools. We know St Leonard???s Boys??? [Secondary School], for example, has produced some outstanding work and we want to see more of that work at BMEX.???

Praising the work of all students, he said: ???Each year, we are able to display what I call the genesis of industry in this island ??? our children???s creations. I have observed that we seem not to appreciate fully, that it is at school ??? from infants to secondary ??? that students show their interest and talents in a variety of things, and it is these same students who later become what we call entrepreneurs, manufacturers.???

Mr. Harper noted that it was in Food & Nutrition, Cosmetology, Industrial Arts, Electronics, Art & Craft, Agricultural Science and Technology that students were first exposed to creativity and production, guided by their teachers, and stressed that BMEX afforded the Ministry a chance to showcase the students??? wonderful imagination and creativity.

Meanwhile, Media Resource Officer, Gale Gooding, in providing the history of the schools??? exhibition, said a policy decision was taken in 1995 to reinforce the MRD???s commitment to the pupil-centred approach to teaching/learning. She explained that a school’s competition was introduced to focus on the project method as a strategy for teaching.

???It was an excellent opportunity to highlight the creativity of pupils and teachers, as well as the development of teacher-supported materials,??? she said.

Ms. Gooding noted that in 1997, the Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA) expressed an interest in having an exhibition of children’s work set up at BMEX.??Pleased with the response of the public to the exhibition, the BMA readily sponsored space for the 1998 project, and continued to do so for the next 16 years.

In this year???s competition, The Ann Hill School captured first prize in the secondary category with We Ting, while Christ Church Girls??? School won at the primary level for My Neighbourhood. They were presented with prizes by the Acting Minister of Education, Senator Harry Husbands.

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