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Primary Schools urged to take part in 2019 PRISPAF

Primary Schools urged to take part in 2019 PRISPAF
Rachel Haslam, (left) the marketing manager of The Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) presents cheque to Martin Quashie, coordinator of PRISPAF

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All primary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines are urged to take part in this year’s Primary Schools’ Performing Arts Festival (PRISPAF).

The festival was officially launched last Friday and the preliminary rounds are scheduled to begin on February 5.

Martin Quashie, coordinator of the festival and drama development officer in the Department of Culture, said that the performing arts festival was a way of exposing hidden or latent talents among the children. And he said that no school should stay away from the festival.

Primary Schools urged to take part in 2019 PRISPAF
Anthony Theobalds, the chief cultural officer

Anthony Theobalds, the chief cultural officer, echoed similar sentiments in his brief remarks.

Theobalds said that the programme can be beneficial to students who participated and he further encouraged and asked for support from schools so that children can be allowed to share their talent.

“One thing is that they exercise a certain amount of self discipline. Another thing is that they expand the range of skill sets and very importantly, they learn participation by participating in groups so for all these reasons, all these ways in which the non-academic things broaden a person as a human being, we want to encourage and ask for the support that the children be allowed to share their talent,” he said.

The CCO said that in 2017, 52 schools participated in the festival, 55 schools participated in 2018 and he expects that this year will bring even more participation from primary schools.

The Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) has been main sponsor of the event for the past three years.

And Rachel Haslam, the marketing manager said that the company has decided to double its sponsorship in this the fourth year of partnership, because of the value of the programme for this nation’s children.

She congratulated the Department of Culture for its commitment to the festival and to ensuring that children have a balanced education.

“I think it’s so much pressure on our kids today to come out with their 14, 15 As or come first in common entrance and there’s that other side…that is equally as important; developing the whole child and ensuring that they get the balance right in their lives, so that they turn out to be rounded individuals and so we salute the ministry and the department of culture. We salute the teachers and staff and very much, it is the passion for the arts that is reflected in the standard of performances and I just ask the teachers to never lose sight of the fact that it is this forum that is an important incubator for discovering and nurturing the creative talents in our society,” Haslam said.

She also encouraged principals and primary schools to get on board and have children participate in the festival.

Dexter Bacchus, music education officer in the Ministry of Education said that events like PRISPAF help to ensure the development and sustenance of performing arts in this country.

He said that SVG continues to produce outstanding performers who represent the country at highest levels and so “it is imperative that we continue to support and invest in the future of performing arts”.

The preliminary phase of the PRISPAF is a six-week long process, beginning on February 5 and ending on March 6.

The “Grand Days” where students from various primary schools perform on one stage are scheduled for March 19 and 20 at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.

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