Children paint their dreams for better education
Maputo, 11 August 2006- Hundreds of primary school children from the Ponta do Ouro primary school in the district of Matutuine depicted their dreams for better education last July as part of a painting workshop organized by the artist Naguib, with the support of UNICEF.
The one-day event brought together students and teachers to discuss ways their school could become child friendly. From school material to teaching methods, every aspect was covered. The lively debates allowed children to voice their concerns and expectations and provided an opportunity to raise teacher’s awareness about the characteristics of a child-friendly learning environment.
After a short session on basic painting techniques, the students were split into small groups, and painting materials were distributed to all.
“It was a remarkable moment for them,” says Naguib. “For most of the children, it was the first time they were using real paint of different colours to express themselves.”
After hours of creative work, the children proudly displayed their work– thirty 100 x100 paintings– in the courtyard of the school, eagerly commenting on each other’s work.
The paintings will be used in the UNICEF 2007 calendar which is distributed every year to hundreds of partners around the country. Each month, a different aspect of a child-friendly school will be illustrated by a painting produced at the workshop.
Mozambique has made great strides in improving access to education over the past decade. The number of children in primary school has been increasing steadily, from 1.7 million in 1997 to over 3.8 million last year. Yet many children are still missing out on education and more than half of primary school age children leave school before having finished grade five.
As part of a child-friendly school initiative, UNICEF is supporting the Government of Mozambique in improving the quality of education in primary schools throughout the country. This is achieved by training teachers and community workers to help all children to attend school and complete each grade, which will help them to learn the skills they need to fully participate in their communities and to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. The model also aims to create child-friendly and safe school environments where care and support, particularly for orphaned and other vulnerable children, can be provided. The students also benefit from quality learning material and good water and sanitation facilities