The Children’s Mashramani Activities officially became the responsibility of the Ministry of Education in February, 1992. The Unit of Allied Arts within the Ministry of Education was tasked with implementing programmes to showcase the talents of children in Guyana. The Unit is the centre for coordination and integration of the Expressive Arts – Dance, Music, Physical Education and Visual Arts in sequenced modules in the School System of Guyana.
Because of its mandate, the Allied Arts Unit expanded the scope of the Children’s Mashramani activities to include competitions of Dance, Dramatic Poetry, Calypso, Costume, Steel pan, Physical Education and Masquerade for children.
The Objectives of the Mashramani Programme are:-
- To promote the Expressive Arts through a National Event.
- To encourage schools, parents and the communities to work together in a creative artistic manner.
- To provide an opportunity for the display of talents by students
- To foster a sense of pride in our National Identity.
The competitions are held at the Regional and National levels for Primary and Secondary schools. Children at the Nursery level also participate in some of the activities but only at the Regional level.
The finals of these competitions are held in Georgetown and all Regional Education Districts participate. These activities usually run for a period of three weeks in the month of February and the outstanding performances are recognized and rewarded at all levels.
The Children’s Costume Parade was introduced in 1996. It is a spectacular colourful activity that showcases the talents and creativity that exist among young people. This parade culminates the series of activities and involves approximately four thousand children from schools and youth groups throughout Guyana. It is a collaborative effort among the Ministry of Education, Private Sector and NGOs.