As part of human creativity and talent, the arts could serve as a lifetime companion for an individual who desires to lead a civilized, cultured and disciplined life. The arts is divided into different disciplines and can be sowed and disseminated through both formal and informal means. It provides the child with a platform to freely express his creativity, and in that process unleash his inherent talent be it through drawing, painting, handicrafts, music, singing, dancing, acting or the like. Furthermore, a child’s cognitive excellence transcends the academic to encompass arts, literature, culture, and other aspects related to creativity.
A 2003 study conducted by UNESCO revealed that arts education for children at primary school level can inculcate in them an understanding of ethics in life, and indirectly increase their general learning ability. These students will also learn to appreciate the arts, and regard it as something worthwhile that can serve as a catalyst to creative thinking in schools.
According to several studies and theories, a child who is talented in the arts usually possesses a balanced aptitude in academics and other areas due to his ability to use the brain creatively. A psychologist, Howard Gardner, believes that a man has at least nine interconnected and mutually dependent aptitudes. It is this connection that will shape an individual’s personality. This can be correlated to music, choir and dance which require both formal and informal education.
World evolution since centuries ago has proven that education in the arts, be it music, singing or dance play an important role in shaping an innovative and intelligent human race who will play their part in bringing about economic growth and advancement in other areas of human civilization.
How It Began
Taking into consideration the influence of arts in a child’s personality and mental development, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor has taken the initiative to set up the PERMATA Seni Programme as part of the PERMATA Programme. The PERMATA Seni Programme is designed to identify children with talent and potential in the arts to be given exposure and training so that their ability and talent can develop to a higher level.
The arts are synonymous with talent because a talented individual is more easily nurtured and his skills are more easily honed compared to one who merely has the interest but not the talent. There are many children with exceptional talent in the performing arts such as singing, music and dancing. Professional guidance is necessary for these children to achieve excellence. Unless such initiatives are put in place, their talents will remain latent and may eventually fade with time. This will be a great loss to the nation as talented children are important resources for building a treasury of knowledge and expertise that will sustain a nation’s civilization.
PERMATA Seni Programme
The PERMATA Seni Programme has several objectives, including:
To create awareness of the arts among Malaysian children so that they will have active use of their left and right brains and enhance their confidence level
To polish the artistic talents of local children to a more excellent level
To enrich the children’s personality and attributes through group activities in arts and culture
To produce quality human capital that can contribute positively to the nation’s growth in the long term.
At the same time, through this programme, Malaysia hopes to produce a new generation of youth who are confident and courageous enough to produce creative works, disciplined, able to balance their time well, can work together, and are determined in the face of challenges. This will in turn strengthen the peaceful co-existence among multi-racial Malaysians with their rich heritage of diverse customs, arts and cultures.
Areas of PERMATA Seni
The PERMATA Seni Programme encompasses three categories namely PERMATA Seni Koir, PERMATA Seni Muzik and PERMATA Seni Tari. One of the objectives of the PERMATA Seni Programme is to expose primary school students to the beauty and the value of the arts as well as its impact on the community. It also aims to produce a cultured, civilized and innovative generation with the ability and confidence to generate creative ideas.