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Komani-Karoo
Teacher creates lifeline to inspiration videos

OCTOBER is the month of teacher appreciation and this year it also marks the introduction of AVBOB’s Poetry Pop-Up Teaching and Learning, which provides a handy tool to all creative arts and life skills teachers.

Melina Smit, an educator, poet and songwriter, explains that this new tool will be enjoyed by pupils and teachers from both primary and senior schools and that anyone needing a lifeline to inspiration will enjoy this uplifting offering.

Melina said the health of creative arts teaching in the Eastern Cape is a reason for great optimism for educators in the province and that the area is bearing witness to a remarkable education revolution spurred on by people of vision and commitment.

“Difficulties educators faced in the province, even before COVID-19, proved to be a catalyst that propelled a genius plan,” said Melina.

A series of video clips in response to desperate teachers who needed a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic, was created by Melina with the help of the AVBOB Poetry Pop-Up Teaching and Learning Studio.

“This can rescue educators all over the country at minimal cost.”

The project consists of free online video clips. She feels that by making poetry accessible to learners it gives them a tried and tested tool to comprehend and process any trauma or enjoyment that they may experience.

According to Melina, arts education has improved dramatically in recent times with the promotion of poetry at the Schreiner Karoo Writers’ Festival (SKWF) in Cradock, as well as the encouragement of the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

Lisa Ker, one of the organisers of the SKWF, explained that Melina was asked to host a two-day poetry workshop for 40 previously disadvantaged learners from the area. The workshop was presented in Afrikaans, isiXhosa and English and was a great success that grew over the following years to include learners and educators.

Teachers would only need a laptop or even a smartphone to take part in the project.

Smit, who had taught drama at Cradock High School, was appointed senior education specialist for Creative Arts and Life Skills by the Department of Education in 2017.

www.avbobpoetry.co.za / https:www.avbobpoetry.co.za/blog/view/50

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