Art attack

Art>> Teaching • Swaziland

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

Students of High School for the Deaf paint a muralIn Swaziland’s schools, art programmes are considered unaffordable luxuries. But one school has broken from the pack and is using art to improve academic performance of children, reports IRIN.

Since the government lacks a designated education budget, it has little capacity to cater to the special needs of children who are poor learners or those with different abilities. Even so, the High School for the Deaf, near the eastern provincial capital Siteki, has found an innovative way to improve students’ learning.

It recently launched a pilot art project for 50 underperforming learners, meant to equip them with the skills necessary to produce indigenous handicrafts, for which Swaziland’s tourism industry provides a market. The programme has yielded unexpected benefits. Thabsile Kunene, a teacher at the school, told IRIN that since the art classes began, “the students are focused more on their studies”.

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