UTG Theatre-in-Education celebrates International Mother Language Day in schools

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UTG Theatre-in-Education celebrates International Mother Language Day in schools
UTG Theatre-in-Education celebrates International Mother Language Day in schools

Africa-Press – Gambia. The University of The Gambia (UTG) Theatre-in-Education (TIE) Literature programme showcased their International Mother Language Day (IMLD) project at three Schools in Kombo East on Wednesday, 21st February 2024.

The three schools included Faraba Banta Basic Cycle School, Pirang Upper and Senior Secondary School, and KuloroUpper and Senior Secondary School.

These Community Outreach presentations were skillfully designed to promote UNESCO’s theme for IMLD 2024 -Multilingual Education: A Pillar of Learning and Intergenerational Learning. IMLD is celebrated annually around the globe on February 21 to “raise awareness of language, cultural diversity and multilingualism around the world.”

In line with the IMLD 2024 theme, this UTG TIE project included topical oral stories told by village elders along with dramatic performances by UTG and secondary school students. The dramatic performances consisted of short stories, poems, proverbs, songs, and excerpts from plays written by notable Gambian authors. Texts written by students from UTG and participating secondary schools were also performed. Topics explored in the presentations encompassed Gambian history, traditions, folklore, and social issues, especially those affecting young girls. Languages spoken included Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, and Jola, with English translations where applicable.

Meanwhile, with the feedback from both the performers and audiences, the event was tagged as a uniquely rewarding educational and cultural experience for all involved.

According to the senior official at the UTG TIE Project, this International Mother Language Day is the first in a series of TIE projects slated for this semester using tested strategies to spread knowledge and appreciation of quality literary works (poems, novels, and plays) in different languages, for educational, social and cultural development in The Gambia.

Upcoming projects at UTG’s Faraba Campus, the official said are an International Women’s Day interactive Book Exhibition (March 8) in the campus Library and theatrical performances for World Theatre Day (March 27) in SAS Theatre 1. Admission to these and other TIE events, on and off the UTG campus this semester (including a reprised TIE Nationwide Tour to support teaching the WAEC’s Literature-in-English syllabus) is free.

Ma’am Grace Chapman, Lecturer and Director of UTG’s TIE Literature Programme acknowledged that the success of the IMLD project would not have been possible without the unflinching support of these village elders – Babu Secka, Alieu Ousman Kanteh, Kaba Kujabi who shared valuable knowledge through insightful stories and proverbs.

In an extension, she appreciated all the principals and vice principals for their diligent coordination of the pre-IMLD activities at their respective schools; and also the secondary school students who engaged as audience and performers; and Janet Badjan-Young for her generosity and splendid artistic guidance; and faculty and staff of UTG. And also expressed gratitude to the UTG’s TIE Troupe members who selflessly continue to volunteer their time and talents to this and other TIE programmes.

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