Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
The new education curriculum which encourages learners to start art from Early Childhood Development (ECD) level got a boost following an increase in submitted entries for Tavatose/Sisonke schools’ art competition.
The annual competition, run by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ), received 700 entries last year, up from the 100 that were posted at inception five years ago.
The gallery is still receiving entries for regional competitions and exhibitions to be held next month, which will culminate in the nationals.
NGZ education curator, Fadzai Muchemwa, said the curriculum generates interest in creative arts from a young age.
“The new curriculum seeks to make art part and parcel of Zimbabwe’s creative industries which can be a key element of rural and urban regeneration strategies.
“The creative industries can be an important economic driver. Categorised, the regeneration effects of investment in the arts and culture in terms of economic, social and environmental outcomes can be outlined as follows; economic outcomes are employment, inward investment, attracting a skilled workforce, improving property values, visitor and residual spending,” she said.
Muchemwa said the visual art showcase has seen a high number of schools offering art at Ordinary Level.
“When we started there were only two schools in Mashonaland Central offering art as a subject but now we have over 20. “The syllabus was there, but there was apathy towards the subject.
“Thankfully through our engagement with schools and obviously the benefits of creative education widely preached when the curriculum was introduced, we have generated interest,” she added.
Although effectively measuring their progress through the number of entries, NGZ hopes to have continuous engagement with aspiring artists.