A manual on metal jewellery for Senior Secondary Schools

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The new Education Reform Programme introduced in Senior Secondary Schools in 1987 by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) include subjects under Visual Arts Education namely General Knowledge in Art, Textiles, Picture Making, Graphic Design, Ceramics, Leatherwork, Basketry, Sculpture and Jewellery. The purpose for the Visual Arts programme is to broaden the study of Art to enable students acquire different vocations, and to impart knowledge and skill to become versatile, more productive and self-fulfilled and to contribute to the economic development of the country. It will also prepare students to enable them fit into various art schools, colleges and universities in the country. This dream has not been fully realised, because the Jewellery component of the Visual Arts programme has been completely abandoned by most Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) in the country. This study seeks to demonstrate that SSS in Ghana do not offer the Jewellery Programme because they lack resources such as materials, tools, equipment, textbooks and teachers. It is observed that the use of a manual and scraps and sheets of non-precious metals in jewellery making, the local manufacture of simple, inexpensive tools and equipment would advance the teaching and study of metal jewellery in SSS in Ghana. The study also evaluates the 1998 Jewellery Syllabus of the Ghana Education Service, and attempts to locate information, by observing at Labone Secondary School, Accra, how the subject is taught, problems encounted, and how the vocational objectives of the Visual Arts programme are being met. The study further aims at preparing a Manual (Chapter Five) to provide basic knowledge and skill, and as a guide to teachers and students in metal jewellery making. The testing of the Manual at Asanteman Secondary School, Kumasi, enabled students to produce, under the supervision of an instructor, jewellery articles by simply following the procedures. The test proved successful and demonstrated that SSS teachers and students could use the Manual in the teaching and learning of metal jewellery. Photographs and illustrations showing the various processes and end-products as well as equipment and tools needed for the fabrication of various items are included in the Manual. Photographs of some metal jewellery items produced by the researcher and students, using non- precious metals and their scraps are also included. The failure of SSS to teach Jewellery does not promote the study of the subject by the youth as an Art and vocation; consequently jewellery making as part of Ghanaian b cultural heritage will gradually die off. It will also create problems for students who wish to further the subject at the College of Art, KNUST, and other jewellery colleges within the country It is concluded that metal jewellery could be taught in SSS in Ghana, and a number of recommendations are made to ensure effective teaching of the subject.
A prject report submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment for the Master of Arts degree in Art Education, 2003