Excursion inspires schoolchildren to appreciate the arts

Laili and SK Sungai Melut (A) pupils during the #BASKL Arts Excursion Programme workshop held at Galeri Shah Alam. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

A TOTAL of 36 pupils from SK Sungai Melut (A), Sepang, had a taste of the arts through the Cultural Economy Development Agency’s (Cendana) #BASKL Arts Excursion (AEX) Programme held at Galeri Shah Alam.

AEX is an experiential learning programme for children from public primary schools designed to nurture interest and appreciation for the arts. It is also an extension of BASKL (Bandar Aktiviti Seni KL).

Cendana founder and chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin said the agency’s Arts Education Schemes were part of its recommendations outlined in its KL as a Cultural and Creative City Report launched in 2018.

The report hopes to address gaps in the market where appreciation for the country’s arts and culture are concerned.

“AEX allows primary schoolchildren to gain positive experiences in the field of Arts. Since it was first launched, we have received a total of 25 participations from primary schools around Klang Valley.

“Cendana hopes to promote equal opportunities to primary B40 schools in suburban and rural areas, including Tamil and Chinese schools. Orang Asli and special education-needs schools will also be given priority,” added Izan.

She said the agency took on the cost for 108 pupils and accompanying teachers for up to RM5,000 which includes transportation, food and beverages as well as insurance.

Laili Kamarudin, a Bahasa Melayu teacher at SK Sungai Melut (A), was thankful for the chance given to pupils to cultivate their interest in the arts.

“These children grew up in a poor learning environment and most of them do not have goals in life. This trip has opened their eyes to many possibilities.

“I am happy to see that they are finally taking an interest in the arts. We as teachers want to help them grow but we do not have enough funding which is why we are very thankful to AEX for this opportunity,” she said.

#BASKL Arts Excursion Programme (AEX) is an initiative by Cendana — an advocacy for the arts with the aim to transform Malaysia into a cultural destination — and the Education Ministry.

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