By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK With the ever-increasing failure and dropout rates at high school level, there is a need to encourage school-going children to develop their artistic talents while young as this would come in handy in future. Originally from Sabija Monte-Negro (former Yugoslavia), Draga Boskovic, a teacher of 19 years standing at Emma Hoogenhout, says most children in Namibian schools have great talent in art but they lack support from those that are expected to give it. Involved in teaching art as a school subject to Grade Three to Grade Seven learners, she says that children in general have creative minds. Recently, the school had an exhibition where children showcased their work. The art teacher described the exhibition as, “It was a display of different thoughts.” Currently, learners are involved in the making of traditional hats as well as jewelry made out of natural yet local materials. To encourage the children to aim higher, artworks of well-known artists such as Kaleb Haipinge, Joseph Madisia and others are displayed in the school hall. “I see a lot of talent in children. When I just got to this country I noticed a lot of children were good in art. They created necklaces using macaroni pieces, buttons and beans. These are the kind of things parents should build in their children.” Boskovic laments that there are many artists without full-time jobs. They, she believes, could be used as art teachers for children interested in art. “This will help Namibia secure a future for these children. It will create an opportunity for everyone,” she says. Despite art not being highly appreciated at present or seen by many as an inferior subject, it can be a vital tool for young people who have dropped out of school. Though the world seems to only appreciate or recognize artwork and artists when they are dead, with a lack of jobs and for those lacking tertiary education, they can use art and engage themselves in small and medium entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, for one to be good in any field, they should have their zeal supported by the environment. “Most times when I see that a child is talented, I encourage the parents to take the child to art parks after school, but most parents do not see a need to develop this in their children. There is a definite future in art as a career, too,” she advises.
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