Nigeria—The Importance of Art Education

Taken from the Nigerian paper, The Compass, Kent Onah observes that teaching children a curriculum that excludes art does them (and by default the nation) a great disservice. Without creativity, innovation will not take place.

“…The polymer scientists needs some artistic knowledge to be able to come up with good polymeric innovations. The industrial designer must basically be an artist first if he/she can create useful and attractive products. The food technologist must first have a basic knowledge of art to perform effectively. The psychoanalyst or psychiatrist can not treat effectively all the time without employing art therapy.

As mentioned earlier, the medical doctors and surgeons depend on artistic illustrations to treat and to teach.

The environmental designers must basically be talented artists. The list is endless. The active presence of art in the curriculum will help the child to communicate better by exposing him/her to other outlets of communication beyond his/her mother tongue and verbal communication.

The creative process involved in the teaching or production of art helps to break the monotony in the study of other courses. As art is activity based, it adds variance to the teaching and learning process, thereby breaking boredom and encouraging more assimilation and better understanding. Art develops and improves the imaginative power of a child as well as encourage him/her to observe greater details in appreciating his/her culture and environment.

The inclusion of art studies in the school curriculum will help to discover as ‘well as treat or proffer solution to a child with psychological problem at its earliest stage. It will encourage resourcefulness among our youths and empower them toward self- reliance. It will expose the child to the endless potentials of art as a humanizing experience.

Above all, it will reawaken an interest in the visual arts which is the basic ingredient on which science and technology rely for their ultimate success…”

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