Kota Kinabalu: The National Culture and Arts Department (JKKN) puts much emphasis on early exposure to cultural arts, said its Director-General Tan Sri Norliza Rofli.
To this end, among the initiatives taken by the Department was the Culture Arts Guidance Programme (PBSB).
“Through this programme, primary and secondary school students were given early exposure on arts like dance, theatre, music, traditional spinning top playing, silat and oratory arts,” she said during the recognition certificate presentation ceremony, at the Sabah JKKN’s auditorium, here, Friday.
“This would instil the interest and passion for arts in them so that they would excel in future.”
Aside from that, National Cultural Arts Instructors (JSBN), she said, played an important role in training the students.
“To date, some 246,401 students took part in the PBSB with 2,376 instructors teaching in 9,626 schools nationwide, since 2006.
“This year, the PBSB implemented in Sabah involves some 10 schools, 10 instructors and 250 students,” she said.
The schools are SK Balung Tawau for theatre, SK Pekan Telipok (music), SK Kawang Papar (traditional spinning top), SK Kepayan Kota Kinabalu (oratory arts), SJK(C) Khoi Ming (dance), SMK Taman Ria Tuaran (music),
SMK Kuhara Tawau (silat), SMJK Ken Hwa Keningau (dance), SMK Pangiran Omar II Sipitang (traditional spinning top) and SMJK Tiong Hua (theatre).
She said that JKKN also coordinates the Genius Seni programme which was organised by Educatiom Ministry and the Tourism, Culture ans Arts Ministry.
“Genius Seni is a structured training and learning programme for talented children aged between six and 17.”
The programme comprises three fields – choir, music and dance.
It is also divided into two categories – Genius Seni Kanak-Kanak (aged six until 12), and Genius Seni Remaja (13-17).
“Genius Seni Remaja participants need to undergo a structured learning process using a recognised sylabus by the Skills Development Department so that they can obtain the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) and Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia (DPM) in arts,” she said.
On the recent Dance World Cup 2019, Norliza commended the achievements attained by the Malaysian contingent.
In the competition held in Portugal, the national team who was represented by young dancers from Sabah brought home four gold medals, one silver medals, and four bronze medals.
The dancers were from SK Mutiara Kota Kinabalu, SMK Tun Fuad Stephens Kiulu, Tagaps Dance Theatre, Standsa SRK St Agnes, and SJK(C) St James Likas.
She also did not disregard the possibility for Malaysia hosting the prestigious event.
“I believe that the world had known Malaysia as a country which has unique and diverse dances,” she said.
Dance World Cup had received a participation of more than 12,000 children and teenagers worldwide every year.
The competition’s standards is high which drives an overwhelming response from dance groups globally.