Education Minister Wycliffe Smith, UNESCO St. Maarten representative Marcellia Henry with participants in the wire bending programme and other persons.
PHILIPSBURG–A wire-bending programme is being piloted at two after-school programmes to encourage the development of craftsmanship skills and awareness of this intangible cultural heritage (ICH) element.
Participating schools are Methodist Agogic Centre (MAC) Browlia Maillard Campus afterschool programme and Oranje Community afterschool programme. The wire-bending programme is being spearheaded by the St. Maarten National Commission for UNESCO, and the sessions were given by Lambert Holder.
Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Wycliffe Smith visited some of the pupils, their instructor and programme coordinators and congratulated them on their work.
Pupils in both programmes have created baskets and fishes out of wire. The next project will be the creation of the renowned Caribbean trickster, Anansi the Spider. Holder has indicated that for this project, pupils will be working together in groups to create this character out of wire.
He emphasised that as the students work on these wire-bending projects, they are not only learning the craft of making art out of wire, but are also learning mathematical skills, cooperative skills and much more.
Local UNESCO commission Secretary-General Marcellia Henry said St. Maarten looks forward to piloting more initiatives like this wire-bending one at other afterschool programmes to promote and develop craftsmanship skills.
“This aspect of our intangible cultural heritage needs to be encouraged to ensure that these skills and knowledge are transferred to the next generation, ensuring that this aspect of St. Martin’s cultural heritage lives on,” she said.
Henry thanked Holder for collaborating with the UNESCO Office for the programme, and others that will be initiated soon. She also thanked Olivia Jacobs of Oranje Community School and Juliana Shipley-Hodge of the MAC Browlia Maillard afterschool programme for allowing the initiative to be piloted in their schools.
The pilot programme started at the MAC Browlia Maillard afterschool programme on November 30, 2018, and began at Oranje Community School on January 4, 2019. Approximately 23 pupils participate in the wire-bending programme at Oranje, which is held on Tuesdays from 2:30 to 3:30pm for the first group of pupils and from 3:30 to 4:30pm for the second group. At MAC, five pupils have joined the programme thus far and meet on Fridays from 2:00 to 3:00pm.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87321-unesco-is-conducting-a-wire-bending-programme