The State Coordinator of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Minna State Office, Mrs. Olufunke Ndukwe, has commended the initiative of the Proprietress of Mypa Schools in Minna, Niger State, for organising a cultural orientation programme, designed to imbibe positive Nigeria cultural values and build a sense of pride as Nigerians, with the theme, “Art and Culture: A Panacea for the Total Development of the Child.”
Speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the event, on the 5th of March, 2015, Mrs. Ndukwe noted that, it has been the Institute’s bid to catch them (children) young and that was the reason why NICO Cultural Clubs are being set up in schools in order to instil in children the desire to appreciate the beauty in our diverse cultural heritage.
She emphasized that the development of a child begins with conception, the process which refers to the biological (physical) cognitive, social and emotional changes that occur in human being between birth and end of adolescence, saying that if a child is properly brought up in the way that conforms to the norms, customs and values of the society, he/she will never depart from it completely, no matter the pressure from the modern or western culture.
Concluding, she spoke about the initiative of promoting Nigerian dress culture, which has contributed to the socio-economic development of the country, fostering a sense of unity among the various multi-ethnic groups in the country, as the erosion of this traditional identity underscores the reasons why the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma conceptualized the programme on promoting Nigerian dress culture.
Mr. Sam Egbadho, who represented the Executive Director, Niger State Council for Arts and Culture, pointed out that art transcends all human aspects of life, as it is a physical manifestation of the internal creative impulse; thus, it serves as an instrument, which is used in conveying mankind’s relationship with its environment.
He further said culture represents human development and the arts are the varied skills, which serve as instruments for bringing them into being, adding that, culture, which should qualify and invigorate this process has been misconceived and neglected and the neglect of the role of our indigenous arts and culture in a child education and development is a setback affecting the nation today.
Speaking in the same vein, the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Niger State, Mrs. Susan Gana said although we have our different traditions, it does not mean we are superior or inferior to the other as each culture has to appreciate one another and not to condemn each other.
She further stated that parents should encourage their children to use traditional adornments all the time and also be proud of their different languages as this shows how important culture is to us.
The programme ended with different cultural displays of local cuisines and traditional performances by students of the school as well as invited schools.