Upholding The Winning Streak With Art
Students of Caleb British International School were announced second-time winners of the Global Canvas Art Competition this year.
Emerging winners out of the over 2000 children that participated, the school students and teacher, Olusegun Adeniyi, speak to us about why we should pay attention to our environment and their art.
Congratulations on winning the Global Canvas Art Competition. To emerge winners out of the 26 countries that took part is an impressive feat. How do you feel about this win?
Winning the David Shepherd Award at the Global Canvas Art Competition for the second time in two years is a dream come true. Our Director, Dr. Ola Adebogun, our parents, and the entire school community were delighted that we have continued to sustain our reputation as global champions. This David Shepherd Award and Certificate of Adoption of Inka, the black Rhino has given our school, the opportunity to protect the future of the endangered black Rhino, Inka.
This is your second time clinching this award. Care to share how you have been able to develop a winning streak mindset?
When excellence becomes a lifestyle, success is guaranteed. Our focus has not been on winning competitions but being part of the solution to the global issues, and making an effort to make our world a sustainable place.
Let’s talk about your interest. What prompted the idea to save the planet?
About half the land in Nigeria used to be covered in trees. Today, Nigeria has lost 96 percent of its forest because of deforestation.
This is alarming and catastrophic! As of 2005, Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). And if action is not taken, we will continue to experience an increase in temperature due to global warming. The fact is that our planet is becoming warmer every day, which is known as global warming. Global warming is one of the greatest problems in the world today. Deforestation has contributed hugely to the impact of global warming in our communities in Nigeria.
We believe that through our art, we can impart our community and save the planet. The project has opened the consciousness of the school community to Tree planting and many have already started planting trees in their various homes.
Walk me through the idea behind your award-winning 3D recycled project titled ‘Restoring our Forests’.
The 3D Recycled Art highlights the benefits of planting trees which are geared towards instilling the culture of maintaining the ecosystem and sustaining the rainforest. Without the plants, the climate may become dryer and growing food could become impossible for many.
This project was executed with about 90% of recycling materials. Recycling is an absolute necessity for dealing with waste and another response to reducing global warming. The goal of this project is to champion the culture of planting trees in order to:
1. Restore our forests
2. Preserve biodiversity
3. Prevent climate change and
4. Reduce global warming
This project is related to SDG 13: Climate Action; SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 15: Life on Land.
What advice do you have for children looking to influence their environment?
We advise other children to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and solve problems inherent in their communities.
What have you learnt over the years about children that have activated these successes?
The teaching and learning of today are beyond the acquisition of knowledge, it should be about raising problem solvers through an interdisciplinary learning approach. This will enable the students to integrate multiple fields of studies for innovative and critical problem-solving. Many of our success was because we have been able to integrate Art with other fields of learning and engaged our students in real-world issues exploring their own creativity with a global perspective.
Having been engaging with the kids for over two decades, I have discovered that to improve academic success, students must have access to hands-on activities. My teaching philosophy is established on Humanism student-centered philosophies which are about fostering each student to his/her fullest potential.
This week, the world celebrates the power of art education vis-à-vis social inclusion. What should the world adopt to ensure that social inclusion is not just idealistic but a reality?
In this ever-changing world, an individual needs to be creative, a critical thinker, and problem solvers. Art is a veritable platform to foster creativity, harness problem-solving skill, and other life-core skills. Art, if fully embraced can transform lives and communities in many ways; Art stimulates imagination, instils aesthetic values, and teaches empathy.
Art instils self-confidence and improves self-esteem; art is used as a therapy, it relieves stress and improves wellbeing. These set skills and values are needed to make our world habitable for all and care for humanity and progress. Art is life and serves as a means of cultural transmission from generation to generation.
UNESCO acknowledges that the learning of art and creativity is indispensable for the growth and sustainable development of societies and individuals.
Art is instrumental to the development of our society, it should be given it right attention in policymaking, education, and social engagements.