ARTICLE: ARTS EDUCATION
22nd April 2021
Alan Montanaro, Director of the International Helen O’Grady Academy writes:
"I don’t view theatre performances as being any more high risk than other activities. With sensible regulated protocols approved by Public Health and a good dose of common sense, I believe theatres, halls and cinemas should be able to open safely to inject culture and offer some respite to audiences while allowing artists to work.
Unfortunately, as Arts Ed practitioners we remain frustrated that we have not been allowed to welcome the thousands of students who attend drama, dance and other creative disciplines in spite of the stringent safety measure we have in place and zero infections reported.
I have a growing theory that the fact that we are often referred to as extra curriculum has something to do with it. The word ‘extra’ in the English language has more than one meaning and in the case of education it can be said to mean ‘beyond’ (as in extraterrestrial). The meaning is lost in a Maltese context where it can only mean ‘zejda’ (‘extraneous’).
This is a very unfortunate case of "lost in translation" because what we teach through our drama classes are 21st Century Life Skills as outlined by the World Economic Forum as a necessity in the workplace.
What we are teaching is not ‘extra curriculum’, it’s ‘extraordinary curriculum’."