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UNESCO Supports the Expansion of School Steel Pan Programme

The Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology has secured funding from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for a project entitled ‚ÄúDeveloping and Expanding Steel Pan in schools in Saint Lucia‚ÄĚ. The project was funded under the UNESCO Participation Programme 2022/2023 call.

The safeguard of intangible cultural heritage is a core component of UNESCO’s mandate, and critical to the safeguard of our cultural heritage and the development and growth of any art form is youth engagement, interest and participation. This initiative, seeks to raise the level of appreciation for steel pan music among the youth and in so doing contribute to the preservation and expansion of the steel pan art form in Saint Lucia.

Through the implementation of this project, the Ministry of Education will provide an avenue for young persons to utilize their creative talents in a positive way and as well, develop the musical skills of the youth, skills which can later serve as a viable means of self employment.

The overall aim of the project is the development of a steel pan programme within the Dennery North community through the establishment of a steel pan programme in schools within the Education District and the creation of public awareness and sensitisation on the steel pan art form; with the key outcome being students who are meaningfully engaged and skilled in the art of playing steel pan.

The project consisted of two key components:

  • The Purchase of the steel pans for the implementation of the programme¬† and
  • Capacity building through Training and Development for students and teachers.

An official hand-over ceremony of the steel pans, to the community, was held on Wednesday, 28th February 2024 at the Derniere Riviere Combined School, Dennery. The handover of the steel pans signaled the first step in the development of what the National Commission hopes will become a very successful steel pan programme in the education district.

Coming on the heels of the observance of the 43rd anniversary of the National Commission’s establishment (2nd February 1981), the project underscores the continued commitment of the Saint Lucia National Commission for UNESCO in providing support to Saint Lucia’s development agenda in UNESCO’s fields of competence (Education, Culture, Natural Science, Human and Social Science and Information Communication).

The Commission is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on this important initiative and pledges its continued support for the establishment of a successful steel pan programme within the Dennery North community.

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