The Creative Arts Support Programme is a year-long project implemented by MIET AFRICA in partnership with ASSITEJ SA (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People). The programme is funded by the National Lotteries Commission, and is being implemented in 15 primary schools in the Umlazi District of KwaZulu-Natal. Creative Arts include Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Arts and Poetry.

Research has found a very strong correlation between childhood engagement in the creative arts and success later in life. The researchers suggest that children exposed to arts and crafts are able to think “out of the box” in figuring out how to solve problems creatively. In addition, involvement in arts projects helps children to express their feelings constructively both verbally and non-verbally, think critically, appreciate others’ points of view, cooperate with others, and increase their confidence and pride in their own ability, since there is no ‘right answer’.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Research and develop effective CAPS-aligned arts and culture programmes for schools that meet the needs of learners
  • Conduct advocacy with district officials, schools (teachers and learners) and school community (caregivers, businesses, municipality, arts and culture formations, and community members) on the value of the arts in the holistic development of learners
  • Train district officials, teachers and school community members from the targeted districts in implementing the newly developed arts and culture projects
  • Support districts and schools in planning and implementing events, competitions and exhibitions that showcase the work done by learners at schools
  • Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the programme

Activities to achieve these objectives include: holding advocacy sessions with selected schools and school communities; conducting workshops for district officials and Creative Arts educators and follow-up support visits to schools; working with district officials to coordinate exhibitions and performances to showcase the project achievements; and monitoring and evaluation of programme activities to inform the development of a sustainable model for delivery of arts and culture education programmes within schools and communities.