African Heritage Month will be commemorated in schools across Barbados with activities throughout this month.

Emphasis is expected to be placed on the wearing of African garb, art and craft, music, story-telling, drama, poetry and discussions on the life and work of the late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and leader of the African National Congress.

Events at the educational institutions will begin at 9:00 a.m. and run until 3:00 p.m.

At Eden Lodge Primary School each age group will be competing in an in-class project and will participate in several learning activities on the topic: Nelson Mandela – Prisoner to President.

The school has chosen the sub-themes: Mandela???s Names, Tribe and Youth; Mandela???s Family Tree; Mandela???s Struggle and Imprisonment; Mandela???s Road to Presidency and His Later Years, as well as Winnie Mandela and Her Role in His Life.

The Black Heritage Day and Sponsored Walk will take place on Friday, February 28. Students will be allowed to model their African attire as they walk through the community in the morning. Completed projects on Nelson Mandela will be exhibited in the School Hall. Parents are also invited to attend a concert in tribute of Mandela in the Amphitheatre.

Celebrations at St. Elizabeth Primary School, will begin on Monday, February 10, under the theme: AFRICA ??? Acknowledging Freedom: Reviving Independence and Cultural Awareness. Their programme will end on Friday, March 14, with a Libation ceremony which will include a natural hairstyle competition and displays by Pinelands Creative Workshop and the neighbouring Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary School Steel pan and dance group.

Eden Lodge Nursery School will use the theme chosen for its school year: Our Heritage, Our Roots as the focus of the month and will place emphasis on culture and food.

On Thursday, February 13, the tiny tots will show their cultural love and appreciation for members of the Eden Lodge Soroptomist Village through various??songs and dance.

A visit to the Holetown Festival on Friday, February 14, will also be undertaken, and students will pay tribute to Mandela and National Hero, the Right Excellent Bussa. On Friday, February 21, the school will host a culture day where there will be storytelling by Gregory Fitt and an African drum-roll by the Pan African Commission.

They will also perform a land-ship dance, sing African songs, display African hairstyles and dress and assist teachers in the preparation of local and African dishes.

St. Jude’s Primary School is expected to celebrate African Awareness Day during the last week of February. Their activities will include a cornrow hairstyle competition; modeling competition for boys and a display of African artifacts, food, hairstyles and history.

This year, the Cultural Activities Committee of Lawrence T. Gay Primary School, has chosen to piggy-back on the school???s theme: Discipline: The bridge between goals and achievement, for African Heritage Month. Throughout the month, children will hear a series of discussions/lectures as well as story-telling to give them a sense of self-worth and discipline. There will also display their art/craft, culinary skills, music and songs. The school???s Cultural Day will be on Friday, February 28.

Meanwhile, staff at the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation will also follow suit in recognising the contribution of Nelson Mandela. They, too, have been asked to express their African heritage through posters, photos and exhibits throughout the month. They will also be given the opportunity to wear African attire on Friday, February 28.

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