Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
"To make Steelpan compulsory in the school system, you will need much more than politics to make it possible.
For starters, let me say that I know first hand that the MMPU [Multicultural Music Programme Unit], Pan in Schools Coordinating Council, and the curriculum officers at the Ministry of Education are all working extremely hard given the resources which they have.
What is needed is for the powers that be to find a way to increase the budget to accommodate:-
•The supplying of more pans to both the Primary and secondary schools.
•The hiring of more teachers to cover all schools (many are graduating yearly from UTT and UWI who are qualified panman/panwomen and can teach in the program)
•The maintenance of the instruments in the schools.
Also, it should be noted that the Ministry of Education do not have a Steelpan curriculum; they have a MUSIC curriculum which covers the teaching of any instrument. While T&T is the land of Steelpan, we must keep in mind that there are people who are not skilled in playing the Steelpan, but can play another instrument to the level of Duvone, Liam, etc.
In understanding the latter, what can be summed up is that what should be lobbied for is the Steelpan to be a compulsory instrument of choice used to teach no matter what other instrument is being used. That way it gives everyone the ability to be diverse in their own musical way while staying true to our Cultural identity.
There are many people graduating yearly from the UWI and UTT who are qualified to teach. The budget allocation towards the initiative makes it impossible to hire enough. There needs to be an increase in budget to accommodate:-
•Instruments in all primary and secondary schools.
•The hiring of sufficient teachers to cover all schools.
•Maintenance of instruments.
Let me just say that the MMPU and curriculum officers in the ministry of education are trying their best and certainly doing a good job with the resources which they have. What we need now is for the powers that be to find a way to increase the budget allocation to the initiative."