Calypso to be taught in T&T schools

Calypso is to be taught in schools as part of the visual and performing arts curriculum. This is part of an agreement between the Education Ministry and Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) – which is observing calypso history month.

N’Janela Duncan Regis

“It is incumbent upon us that we ensure that all our youths are exposed to all aspects of our cultural heritage, notably the steelpan and calypso which gave birth to so many sub-genres that we enjoy today,” Education Minister Anthony Garcia said after a meeting with TUCO president Lutalo ” Brother Resistance” Masimba last Friday. The meeting was held at the Education Tower, Port of Spain where there were discussions on the use of calypso as a tool for teaching and learning.

The minister said calypso can be used to teach children to better understand poetry, essay writing, and even mathematics.

TUCO will work alongside the ministry in teaching the art of writing and singing calypsoes from the level of early childhood care and education to primary and secondary schools.

“People must be aware of their culture, and culture has to be transmitted from one generation to the other,” Garcia said.

The education ministry, he said, is doing everything to assist TUCO in ensuring that calypso is kept alive.

At the meeting, a cross-functional team was formed which will comprise of representatives from TUCO, the Curriculum Planning and Development Division, Multicultural Music Programme Unit, and the Laventille/Morvant Schools’ Improvement Project. “The objective of this partnership with TUCO is to assure the sustainability of calypso as an artform well beyond the carnival season,” Garcia said.

This, he said, as the ministry continues its thrust toward providing universal access to education while ensuring quality and equity and good governance in all schools through stakeholder partnerships that will allow for the holistic development of all students.

TUCO assistant general secretary Shirlane Hendrickson was also present at Friday’s meeting. Attempts to contact Masimba yesterday were unsuccessful.