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Friday, 26 April 2013

No More 'Outsiders' in The Kenyan Drama Festival Script Preparation

Professor. George Godia
The Kenyan Ministry of Education banned outsourcing of drama festival script writers. The Ministry of Education has banned the writing of scripts by people who are not students or teachers, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, George Godia has said.

Godia asked the Kenya National Drama Association to streamline the rules and regulations that govern the operations of the association to ensure strangers do not hijack the writing and performance during the National Schools & Colleges Drama Festival in future. He said that the annual National Drama festival was an extension of the classroom work that students were exposed to, saying that the writing of scripts and their performance must strictly be done by students with the guidance of teachers and not outsiders. This is to enable the students to develop their creative talents in writing scripts, directing and in production of plays and other creative activities.

He was speaking during the Kenya National Drama Festival Gala at The Aga Khan High School Hall in Mombasa on Thursday. Last week, the High Court directed the Ministry of Education to allow the staging of a play, entitled The Shackles of Doom by Butere Girls High School, saying its was incendiary in its thematic thrust, hence violating the guidelines that the National Drama festival had spelt out for script writing to schools. The script had reportedly been written by writer who is neither a student nor a teacher.

The Permanent Secretary said outsourcing the writing of scripts and the whole production and direction of the plays by people who are not teachers or students denied a chance to students to develop their talents in creative arts. “It also denies a chance to the Ministry to place responsibility on the schools if and when it may become necessary to do so,” Godia noted.

The sentiments were supported by the Chairman of the National Drama festival, Mr. Kahura Chokera who said that strangers to the formal school system were exploiting students for their own ends. He said non teachers should use other avenues to ventilate their creative energies instead of exploiting students for their own political and other ends.

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