19 Jul 2012

Call for arts to be taught in schools to build Pacific's creative economy

7:23 pm on 19 July 2012

A Solomon Islands teacher who's been working in the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1978 says the creative arts must be taught in schools if the Pacific's creative economy is to grow.

A forum at the recent Pacific Arts Festival in Solomon Islands on building the creative economy heard of the appropriation and misinterpretation of Pacific creativity by Western marketers and of the need for Pacific people to value both what they have and who they are.

But Julian Treadaway says when he first came to Solomon Islands culture was a part of the curriculum but was dropped in favour of more focus on English and Mathematics as subjects that would lead to employment.

"Ignoring the fact that as we were saying in this conversation now, many people here now, particularly musicians, who have gone overseas, become famous, they've all done it themselves, it's not been brought back into the curriculum."

Julian Treadaway says a project he has been working on for the past five years reforms the Year One to Form Three curriculum to include at least two periods of creative arts a week.