Kisumu will host the Kenya Schools and Colleges Music festival between August 2 and 12.
Announcing the venues at Tom Mboya Labour College where music teachers have been meeting to prepare for the fete, Festival Executive Secretary Benson Abwao said Kisumu Boys High School, Kisumu Girls High School, Lake Primary School and Aga Khan Hall will host the event.
“After seven years the festival is coming back to the lakeside city, the home of many talents including Lupita Nyong’o,” he said urging participants to spread the theme, which is ‘Promoting National Values and Ideals’.
And the Government plans to introduce national values and cohesion in the school curriculum as a measure to mitigate growing radicalisation of youth. As a starting point the Ministry of Interior is supporting classes for this years’ event.
“If that young man who scored straight As in his law school had a sense of national values, he would respect the sanctity of life and would not have done what he did with his colleagues to students at Garissa University,” said Charles Mwaniki an assistant director at the Directorate of National Values and Cohesion in the Interior ministry.
Makini schools’ teacher David Isindu praised the introduction of values into the syllabus saying it will help prepare Kenyans to tackle their challenges peacefully and in harmony.
Teachers and students will be expected to present the theme in both elocution and music. Prof Emily Akuno, an executive dean at the Technical University of Kenya emphasised the need for teachers to select music that is suitable for children.
“Is it culturally relevant for performers to present knowledge that is commensurate with the performer’s experiential age?” she posed.
Akuno went ahead to promise that her university in collaboration with the festival will start a new journal to document and disseminate the new knowledge from research by many musicologists at the workshop.
“Prof Akuno has agreed to put together a journal that will help preserve the rich music knowledge shared at the workshop and elsewhere,” said Festival Chairman Peter Wanjohi.
Adjudicators were advised to maintain humility whilst discharging their duty.