Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) has scrapped off Art subject on this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations, The Daily Times has learnt. According to a letter from Maneb addressed to one of the schools, the examinations board has indicated that Art subject will not be administered this year due to low candidature.
“Kindly be informed that due to low candidature in the subject, it will not be administered in this year’s examination,” reads part of the letter dated February 10 2020. Some Arts teachers have since expressed concern with the development saying this has indicated that the subject is not valued like others.
“This is not healthy at all. It just shows that art is not given the utmost attention as is the case with other subjects. This is a cause for concern for students, who are pursuing arts,” one of the teachers, who did not want to be named said.
The teacher said there were some Art students, who have been preparing for the subject only to find out that it was missing on the timetable.
Players in the creative industry have now and again called on the government, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, to value creativity by putting Art on the syllabus.
In other countries Art is one of the top subjects on the syllabus but this is not the case in the country.
Another teacher from one of the private schools in Blantyre, who also did not want to be named, said the Art subject which is examined at the moment lacks the meat of an art subject.
Association of Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) Interim President, Dave Mpaso, said the country has for a long time not respected arts hence having low participation in the subject.
“If you go to a lot of schools in the country, you will notice that there are no Art teachers and if you don’t have Art teachers, you don’t expect students to pursue the subject,” Mpaso said.
He also said the country always priotises other subjects such as sciences.
“We are people who are copycats and do not know what we want. We priotise sciences only and you will see that art is not encouraged. This is a talent and most of this talent is inborn which does not need white collar jobs but the subject is never taught, it is a big problem and we really need to change,” Mpaso said.
As Atem, which is set to hold its competition early May, Mpaso said they have been meeting the same situation where managements of some schools discourage participation.
“It is the same with arts. Most schools candidature is low and there is need to revisit it,” he said.
Efforts to talk to Maneb proved futile Tuesday.
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