United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, has launched an appeal for the promotion of arts education and creativity in schools as part of constructing a culture of peace.
The Director-General, UNESCO, Federico Mayor said, “Today we are clearly and strongly aware of the important influence of the creative spirit in shaping the human personality, bringing out the full potential of children and adolescents and maintaining their emotional balance all factors which foster harmonious behaviour. There is a lack of mediation and creativity everywhere, especially in schools. The arts are missing from our lives and we are giving way to violence.”
He stated that at a time when family and social structures are changing, with often adverse effects on children and adolescents, the school of the twenty-first century must be able to anticipate the new needs by according a special place to the teaching of artistic values and subjects in order to encourage creativity, which is a distinctive attribute of the human species.
“Creativity is our hope. A more balanced kind of education is now needed, with scientific, technical and sports disciplines, the human sciences and art education placed on an equal footing at the different stages of schooling, during which children and adolescents must be able to accede to a learning process that is beneficial, more broadly, to their intellectual and emotional balance. In that respect play activities, as a vital form of creativity, are one of the factors that deserve to be encouraged in the teaching of the arts.”
Mr. Mayor added that arts teaching stimulate the body and deepens sensitivity. “Arts teaching should stimulate the body as well as the mind. By setting the senses in motion, it creates a memory which sharpens the sensitivity of the child and makes him or her more receptive to other forms of knowledge, notably scientific knowledge. Furthermore, it develops individuals’ creative faculty and directs their aggressiveness towards the symbolic objects of their choice. The time has come to give all school-going children the benefit of such teaching.”
He therefore called on all the Member States of UNESCO to take appropriate administrative, financial and legal measures to ensure that the teaching of the arts – which covers disciplines such as poetry, the visual arts, music, drama, dance and film – is compulsory throughout the school cycle.
“I invite artistic and cultural institutions such as theatres, opera houses and concert halls, cinemas, literary and poetry centres, museums, cultural centres and libraries to open their doors to pupils from the schools in their neighbourhood, district or city, running special activities for them and opening their facilities to them so that they can exhibit their own work as well.


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