Text Book Centre (TBC) recently concluded an initiative dubbed “TBC/Pelikan art competition” to nurture artistic inclinations in students. This inclusive approach to learning brought together students within Nairobi and proved that most students are capable of expressing artistic talents.
In light of this, the context of Kenyan education system largely relates successes and learning to academic excellence. Artistic approach towards learning is not met with the same vigor as would a top candidate in a Kenyan national exam. Top students are celebrated and carried shoulder-high by teachers, parents and peers at the end of the term. The same scenario plays even up to when national exam results are announced in the media. What of students who can paint? Draw? Sketch?
The TBC initiative involved giving Pelikan hampers and art material to 10 schools. Notably, the schools selected for the TBC Pelikan art competition have active art clubs. They include Riara Springs Primary, Makini and Kilimani among others.
The art materials were given to class 1 to 6 students who volunteered to work on respective art projects under the supervision of their teachers.
The competition stated that students projects would be drawn from three outlined themes namely: ‘My family’, ‘My School’ and ‘The environment’ for category 1 (class 1), category 2 (class 2 &3) and category 3(class 4-6) respectively.
Makini alumna Dela of the popular Swahili cover version of Adele’s song ‘Hello’ graced the award giving ceremony at Makini. She told the students, “Embrace your artistic talent as much as academic excellence is encouraged.” The trained architect followed by saying that being all rounded is of use.
Besides creating awareness in art, TBC secured partnerships with the respective schools by extending an offer on Pelikan office stationery, writing material and art items at a discounted wholesale price. This offer will run till October 31st.
In an art school, it is very hard to tell who is the best. For that reason, TBC budget this competition catered to all participants. The top 3 winners in each category and all participants were awarded.
The latter had a consolation prize of 3 HP pencils while the former took home TBC vouchers valued at KSh 3000, 2000, and 1000 for the winner, position two and position three holder respectively, besides getting 2 Longman Jaws books and highlighters.
Among the judging panelists included a Kenya Polytechnic Lecturer in the art faculty. The teachers mainly played a supervisory role.
Art competitions have proved to break down divisions in the classroom environment. Athletic abilities, academic strengths and artistic inclinations are brought together by art, giving each student an equal chance to express themselves.
This was the main story in the September issue #1 TBC newsletter