By Ikekwem Lilian A
Teaching itself is according to Onwuka 1981 an attempt to help someone to acquire or change an attitude, knowledge, and skill.
Therefore, the Museum Educator simply put is a bridge or link between the Museum and the public. He is a professional responsible for transferring knowledge to the child through various educational enlightenment activities or programmes organized by Museum through the Education Department.
The Museum Educator plays important roles in the life of the child within the context of developing his skills in the changing society. This is because the child occupies a unique position in the society and the future of every society rests on him.
The Museum Educator does this through the Museum’s Educational Unit activities by involving the child in the preservation of natural and cultural heritage that is the bedrock of development effort.
Some of these educational enlightenment programmes are:
CHILDREN LONG HOLIDAY PROGRAMME: This programme is open for Primary and Secondary School children which normally takes place in every Museum during their long term holidays.
The Museum Educator through this programme helps to:
i. Inculcate the knowledge of cultural heritage to the child both the tangible and intangible heritage;
ii. Keep the child busy all through the holiday by engaging him arts and crafts work;
iii. Encourage the child to be useful to himself and the society by developing his latent ability.
Activities perform during this programme are: Tye and Dye, acquamono or greeting cards, basket weaving, bead making etc.
SATURDAY ART CLUB: Art Club is as old as Museum and it is being practiced in almost every Museum. This programme is meant for a child between the age of 3 to 18 years He is taught from infancy to develop his inert quality in art both traditional and modern art.
The Museum Educator, through this programme:
i. Encourages the child in nursery, Primary and Secondary School to be creative;
ii. Brings the child closer to the Museum World knowledge;
iii. Encourages the child to be initiative, resourceful and self reliance.
Activities perform during this programme are: Broom Production, Painting/Drawing, Hair Net Making, Thatch Making, Choral, Current Affairs Cultural Dance, Bead Making, quiz etc.
SCHOOL OUTREACH/VISIT: This is an important programme, programmed by the Museum Education Unit to reach out to the child in school. Through this, the Educator brings to the door step of the child the Museum World those activities around which the life of a Museum is built. It represents a conscious decision to make the young people (Child) special partner.
The Museum Educator organizes educational outing for schools. The first experience of an educational outing to the Museum will enable the child to gain a better understanding of the content and importance of Museum; whet the scientific Curiosity and develop the powers of observation and description even analysis of the child.
CHILDREN MAGAZINE: This is another programme if well co-ordinated by the Museum Educator, helps in developing the Child’s latent ability especially in literally art examples in writing, drama stories folklores, tongue twisting, idioms and cartoons.
The Museum Educator after showing the child how to write, draw and paint gives the child the opportunity to express his/her ideas in writing which could be folklores, tongue twisting etc. that could be compiled alongside with other children magazine by the Museum Educator in the Museum.
FUN FAIR: The Museum Educator employs funfair which is a collection of both outdoor and indoor entertainment to create awareness and publicize Museum Education programme. This programme offers the child an opportunity for socialization and education. Examples of such fun fair are organizing Father Christmas shows during December period.
In a nutshell, each programme mentioned above is adapted to the level of the child’s maturity and capacity. The principal goal for all the programmes is to awaken the child’s critical capacity in indigenous affairs equipping him to appreciate the diversity nature and characteristic of Nigerian Culture and ethos.
Ikekwem Lilian A writes in from Abuja.