Exposure to the arts helps build an individual’s character and personality: Suranjika Bartholomeusz
Suranjika Bartholomeusz is a teacher of speech, drama, performance arts, and musical theatre. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, she too had to cancel her classes as many others did, but she was determined that her students receive the benefit of the classes as soon as possible. Encouraged by her family, she spoke to her students’ parents and commenced online lessons on 24 March, just a few days into THE curfew.
The feedback was extremely positive and the students were happy to get back to their lessons. Suranjika incorporated many concepts such as movement, acting, articulation, making of props, puppets, and many more. She was also keen that the kids learned the concepts of recycling and innovation. Therefore, the kids used old newspapers, cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, old cloth, and eggshells for their work.
She taught right through the month of April, which is usually a holiday month, as she felt that the kids needed an outlet, especially with the many restrictions in place in the country.
Suranjika devised lessons that merged the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and Easter through acting, creative writing and artwork; learning about other cultures and arts such as the Chinese Dragon Festival through the creation of a dragon head, dances, Chinese proverbs; exploring the land of the Sphinx through poetry and props; creation of comic books; and learning classics such as Alice in Wonderland through, acting, reading, presentations, and plenty of props and artwork. She uses Microsoft Teams as her online platform and has managed to use it well for the various activities.
“I believe exposure to the arts helps build an individual’s character and personality. It provides an outlet for creativity and innovation. Students have the opportunity to try out various skills and find new interests and passion,” said Suranjika.