Former assistant minister for culture Louise W. McMillian-Siaway has called on school administrators to pay keen interest to the educational activities of their students, advising them to make visits to the newly renovated and reopened Liberia National Museum.
Min. Siaway, who also became the first minister for culture in postwar Liberia to undertake a full scale renovation work on the museum, said during her time as minister, she saw lack of interest among school administrators to encourage students to visit the museum or set up a field trip for them.
Although she was changed before museum renovations were completed, Min. Siaway added that under her administration, school administrators were sent communications urging them to bring students to the museum, but the lack of interest from them complicated things.
“Now that the museum is renovated, I hope they rethink their decision by setting museum field trips for the students. They need to understand that by visiting the museum, students makes connections to prior knowledge that educate them about historical events and engage them to think outside the box.
“Also, museum exhibits inspire interest in an area of study, item, time period, or an idea–which students need to learn. It is sad and frustrated that Liberian children are missing lots of these benefits due to their school administrators,” Min. Siaway said.
She added that it will be disappointing if school administrators fail to start including visits to the museum as an extra-educational activity, especially now that it has been renovated to international standard with new artifacts.
“Schools do not only exist to provide economically useful skills in numeracy and literacy, but also to produce civilized young men and women who would appreciate the arts and culture of their nation,” she continued. “The failure to do so will leave many children without good knowledge about Liberia’s past and its culture.”