Preschoolers throughout TT now have the chance to become involved in music after several Early Childhood Care and Education centres received two tenor pans each from the Ministry of Education.
At the launch of the Multicultural Music Programme Unit hosted at the Arima New Government Primary School on Wednesday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said the ministry was working to have steelpan in every ECCE centre, primary and secondary school. He said the programme would also be tailored to attract and help those with learning disabilities through music.
He said the ministry was working to establish a template to help with special education and he was happy that steelpan was a part of that template.
The programme began in 2007 under the title Pan in Schools for primary and secondary school students. There were 15 tutors assigned to teach music in approximately 100 schools weekly. Three years ago the programme was revamped and renamed where more schools were added.
Garcia said teachers would be trained to work side by side with tutors so that music could become an integral part of learning and the life of students.
He announced an increase of tutors to 100 and schools to 200.
In his address, Garcia said, “When students are engaged in activities like this they are less involved in violence,” Garcia said adding that this program is expected to help with issues of deviant behaviours.
He said the introduction of this will move the issue of disruptive and violent behaviour to the back burner so that the standard and delivery of teaching can improve.
“What we must be focused on is towards the development of our country and music is a very important part of that development.”