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Merlino is encouraging schools to be involved

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May 16, 2018

State education minister james merlino

One of the best parts of my role as Minister for Education is attending the annual Victorian State Schools Spectacular, a huge show of 3000 talented Victorian government school students who perform and do an array of jobs behind the scenes.

I am always inspired by the great production and it reminds me of why arts education is so valuable in the Victorian Curriculum.

I am proud that we develop and nurture the outstanding talent of kids in dance, drama, music, visual arts and media arts in our schools.

In education, as in life, the arts provide an important balance.

They allow students to imagine and explore, to express their thoughts and ideas creatively, and are a key part of well-rounded academic development.

We know kids thrive intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically when studying arts.

There are lots of benefits inside and outside of the classroom including building confidence, resilience, self-esteem and a sense of belonging in communities and cultures.

As part of our plans to build Victoria into the Education State, we’re proud to have a world-leading arts target across five subjects: dance, drama, music, visual arts and media arts.

The target is the first of its kind in the world that aims to boost student excellence in the arts, and will help maintain Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s cultural capital.

We’re investing in the arts in schools.

Many students are supported by high-quality music teaching through the ‘Music in Schools’ program, which also provides funding to buy music-related resources, including musical instruments.

Forty-four schools recently bought more than 2000 pieces of musical equipment including keyboards, digital pianos and drum kits, as well as traditional African, Koorie and Tibetan instruments and electronic music equipment.

I am really excited that Education Week 2018 this month is all about ‘celebrating the arts’.

Many schools, including in the Seymour area, will take the opportunity to open their doors to the community to showcase the amazing work they are doing in arts subjects.

Schools will also have the opportunity to take part in a calendar of activities hosted by some fantastic arts organisations across the state.

I wish all students an enjoyable Education Week 2018!

James Merlino

Minister for Education

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