Outfitted in African clothing, pupils of St Alban’s Primary learnt more about the African culture and lifestyle as the school held its annual African Awareness Day today.
Principal Wendine Prince told Barbados TODAY the focus of the programme was to bring in resource persons to speak to students about their African heritage, mainly focused on dress, cuisine and the practices of the African people.
“I think both teachers and children enjoyed the experience. The children are totally happy to be dressed in their African wear; and I told them this morning at prayers that I don’t want them just to wear the African wear without understanding what it means to be African.”
Prince added that the pupils were happy to hear of things originating out of Africa, as some of them could not relate to the continent before.
Coordinator Julia Mascoll said the theme for the day’s event was He Who Does Not Know Can Know From Learning and it was important for the students of the school to know that “our ancestors came from Africa”. Mascoll added that normally Barbadian entertainers would visit the school to perform, but this year a different focus had been adopted, despite the thought of calypso music being inspired by African music.
“Usually what I find happens at school,” she said, “Barbadian entertainers would . . . just come in and perform, but a lot of their music and pieces don’t necessary reflect Africa . . . .
“So I wanted things almost directly from Africa here represented.”
Mascoll also said the pupils were made aware of the different tribes and customs of African countries and she had received a good response.
Patricia Ramsey, a representative from Uplift Barbados, a missionary organization, shared her experience from visits to the land of Malawi with teachers and pupils.
“We brought artefacts to the school; we brought our DVD . . . . We have shown them a film and there were very interested. Some children were a little tearful because of the needs of the children there.”
Ramsey explained that her organization visited Malawi in September of every year, catering to the “whole man” –– spiritual, physical and psychological.