Dar launches Rivers of the World art exhibition

By Mary Ramadhani

Published by Tanzania Standard


THE Cultural Principal Officer Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Babib Msamy yesterday has applauded efforts put in incorporating arts in learning institutions as it is another way that can be used to reflect on local and global issues.“This skill set is needed and can be used by graduates in creating their own employments and be able to work in local and global environments,” he said as he launched Rivers of the World virtual exhibition.

Rivers of the World is an international art and education programme implemented in partnership with Thames Rivers Festival Trust that connects students around the world, sharing artistically their local rivers environmental, economic and cultural learning themes, explained Msamy.

He noted that 40 students from five government schools participated in the two-year project and were handed certificates at the British Council grounds after the virtual exhibition of their drawings was launched.

Chairman of Dar Art Youths (DAY), who is also an artist and an art Teacher Ernest Mtaya, elaborated that the project wanted students to identify what was seen on the river environment in their communities and through their drawings communicate the challenge and solutions witnessed to the government.

“Students have shown great understanding of the project and will be good ambassadors in creating awareness on the importance of preserving nature,” he remarked as urged the government to work with British council in making sure that the project reaches more schools.

“This project is of arts and education, and there are many students out there who are talented, but are not reached,” he said.

Among the participants of the project was Careen Lyimo, a form four student from Jangwani Secondary School who said through the art project they were able to show various challenges caused by flooding rivers and effects that face the community surrounding them.

The drawings were also able to display sustainable solutions that can be taken to preserve the environment and live in harmony with nature, such as widening the river banks, and planting trees, she mentioned.

“Through the project, we want to educate and create awareness to people on why we must preserve our environment and most importantly preservation of water sources,” she asserted.

The project has been beneficial to students as remarked Ayub Msuya, the teacher in charge of Rivers of the World Project from Jangwani Secondary School, it focuses on nurturing students' talents.

“From the minute a student with talent is discovered at school, we strive to nature and connect them with various institutions matching the student’s talent, such as this project which we believe will get more exposure and be known in the country and across the world,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Project Manager of Connecting Classroom British Council Ephraim Kapunga remarked that, Rivers of the world project also targets building skills to teachers in incorporating arts in their teachings.

“We want to build skills in teachers of normal lessons and those of arts classes to use art when teaching. This will be especially helpful for students with special needs. That is why teachers get to share knowledge through the connections we have created between schools in Tanzania and those abroad,” he stated.

He further stated that through the project, and through teaching arts in schools it will not only build talents of the students rather create a skill set that will later be a breadwinner for them.

“If the children’s talents in arts are nurtured properly, the arts classes will enable graduates to be able to create their own employments. And this nurturing is supposed to start from a tender age in schools as the government has created an environment where every child can attend school,” he reiterated.