A play area and public engagement space for children to learn more about cultural preservation and explore their environment to ensure a holistic educational experience has been unveiled at the National Museum Onikan in Lagos.
Funded by the US Mission in Nigeria, the space was constructed with recycled materials made into arts and other interesting toys for children, while a new exhibition space within the National Museum, also funded by the US Consulate General Lagos was inaugurated.
In a remark during the inauguration of the space, the Acting US Consulate-General, Mr James Suor explained that
the educational space was designed to create excitement in the minds of school children, support learning, facilitate relaxation and promote shared values of democracy and robust people-to-people ties.
According to the Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Mr Stephen Ibelli, both the play and learning area for children and the new gallery are part of the many projects the US Mission has been partnering the National Commission for Museum and National Monuments on across Nigeria in a bid to promote shared values between Nigeria and the United States if America.
“It’s not only a place for children to relax and to play, but it’s also a way for the children to learn about very important issues such as climate change, wildlife conservation, working in a team and leadership. Because it’s not only about learning but it’s also about building character and this space allows that to happen, this is a great compliment to the new exhibition space at the National Museum” Mr Ibelli stated.
Thanking the US Mission for providing the spaces, the Director-General of the National Commission for Museum and National Monuments, Professor Abba Isa Tijani who said efforts are ongoing to upgrade more National Museums across the Country stated the Commission had stocked the gallery with interesting pieces to foster cultural understanding and peace.
“All these is because we want our visitors to get the maximum benefits when they go round to see and understand about our history, about our past and about our culture and that is what we have done now because presently we have a lot of challenges in our country and lot of social issues and all this is because people don’t understand and they don’t respect the culture of others, so if we now attract them to the museum, they will be able to understand their past, other people’s culture and they will appreciate them” he said
Prof. Tijani announced that recently the Commission also won a forty thousand dollars grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Fund to restore and conserve Igbo Ukwu Bronzes at the National Museum in Lagos.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mr Olusegun Dawodu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Olugbilemiga Aina, described the provision of both the children play and learning spaces and gallery as innovative ideas which should be replicated nationwide.
The two in one event was attended by some primary school pupils from across Lagos State who took time to explore the play area.