“We thank our Education Minister for his support in enlisting children from 225 schools” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 6 March at Apey Gama crafts Centre in Battaramulla. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch of Shilpa Navodhaa, the joint crafts competition and training program for Lankan school students across the country, conducted by the National Crafts Council (NCC) under his Ministry and the Ministry of Education. The novel project envisages to engage the country’s school generation to its historic arts and crafts traditions. Joining the March 6 session with Minister Bathiudeen were Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and NCC Chairperson Heshani Bogollagama.
“Sri Lanka’s crafts are attractive and has tourism earning potential. Our youth are not showing much interest in our crafts tradition, affecting its future. Realising this, the Ministry of Education and my Ministry of Industry and Commerce joined to create the Shilp Navodha crafts competition and training project” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “We thank Education Minister Akila Kariyawasam for his support in enlisting children from 225 schools across the country in this. We are educating 40000 students and will train 10000 of them to create crafts of their preference. Crafts are also a great way to generate income.
According to NCC, in this novel initiative the students will be encouraged to select from a range of handicraft sectors such as clay, mats, fibres, cane & bamboo, masks & puppets, carvings, textiles, lacquer works, wood based crafts, in this novel initiative. The successful completion of the Phase I of this project shall likely result in Crafts Making becoming a subject in current national education curricula.