The 8th of April last week was a public holiday in Johor. That afternoon, I took the family out for some shopping at Plaza Angsana in Tampoi.
There was some sort of performance being held at the main concourse of the shopping mall. On stage, a theatre play was being performed totally by young teenage children. After the play, a young girl came on stage to sing a song accompanied by a live band. The musicians are all young kids like the singer. This performance was later followed by more singing and also a traditional dance.
Apparently, the show was being put up by students of the Sekolah Seni Johor Bahru as part of their Festival Kesenian 2009. I have never heard of such a school before but I was told by my wife that it was set up a few years ago. A family friend had enrolled her daughter to this school.
Sekolah Seni Johor Bahru is a special school established by the Ministry of Education to train our children to excel in Arts. Apart from the standard academic syllabus, there are four other subjects being taught : Visual Arts, Dance, Theatre and Music. This school is so new that it doesn't have its own campus yet. It is temporarily sharing premises with SMK Mohd Khalid at Jalan Abdul Samad.
The showcase of the school's talent at Plaza Angsana on that day was not limited to stage performances. There was also an exhibition displaying the students' drawings and sculptures. I was quite impressed with what I saw.
I am pleased that MoE has decided to set up a school to nurture the artistic talent of our children. We already have smart schools, cluster schools and sports schools. It is high time that children who are artistically talented be given the avenue and opportunity to expand on their capability. Not everybody can become engineers or doctors or lawyers. Successful careers in the Arts is something that parents can be proud of too.