(EMU) – St. Kitts, December 16, 2016: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education. Mr.William Hodge said “We need more Alex Condells” as he addressed attendees of a handing over ceremony of musical instruments from the Government and People of Columbia to the Government and people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis on December 14.
Mr Hodge was referring specifically to the fact that the donation of musical instruments would allow more young people the ability to learn to play instruments, as well as Mr Condell a well-known local saxophonist.
Mr Hodge said the goal of his ministry is to see all students in the Federation learn to play at least one instrument during their school years. “It is something we have to promote in ourschools, the development of musical ability; not just in theory but practically” he expounded.
According to representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Columbia, Ms Adriana Martinez, the instruments are a gift derived as part of the South South Project – a co- operative venture between the Government of Columbia via its Presidential Agency for International Co-operation (APC Columbia) – and the Ministry of Education in St. Kitts.
The project is being spearheaded by the Batuta Foundation (Music) of Columbia, which recently conducted a three-day musical training workshop for teachers in St Kitts. The arrival of 200 instruments for use in elementary schools around St. Kitts has taken the project a step further.
Ms Liliana Sanchez who made the presentation to the Ministry of Education stated on behalf of APC Columbia, “We are providing technical and financial support in response to a request from
the ministry in 2015 via the Organization of American States (OAS).
She added “The strengthening of Columbia’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean has been a priority for Columbia since 2010 when the Government implemented the strategy for International Cooperation with Caribbean States as a mechanism respond promptly and timely to requests presented to our country.”
With the strategy Columbia has contributed to the institutional strengthening of Caribbean countries through the development of regional actions which benefitted 1,200 professionals and officials, and also the implementation of 17 bilateral projects in sectors of special importance.
These include environment, disaster risk management, social development, technical and vocational training and food security and nutrition.
Mr Hodge expressed gratitude to the Government of Columbia and the Batuta Foundation as he expressed his vision for centres of excellence in music to be established in some of the schools
throughout the Federation.
“We would like to ask our Columbian representatives here to convey our gratitude for the contribution of valuable musical instruments as well as the capacity building of our human resource by sending instructors to help train our music teachers in the art of teaching music,”stated the permanent secretary.
He noted gratitude to Education Planner, Mr Quinton Morton, who is spearheading the project locally for seeing it through to fruition.
Music training is expected to start as early as the new school term in January 2017.