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Students are taught traditional folk songs, handicrafts, Naga wrestling and traditional weaving, among other extra-curricular activities
Students are taught traditional folk songs, handicrafts, Naga wrestling and traditional weaving, among other extra-curricular activities|New Creation Ministry
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How this school is trying to keep traditional Naga artistry alive

At the New Creation School located in a far-flung village of Phek district in Nagaland, students are given lessons on folk songs, handicrafts and traditional weaving

Medolenuo Ambrocia

Medolenuo Ambrocia

Kohima: Education in schools is often restricted to books and syllabus without much emphasis given on extra-curricular activities, particularly those revolving around traditional arts and crafts. But all that is about to change.

A school in the Sekruzu town of Phek district has taken upon itself to introduce its students to the Naga traditional way of life. Among a host of activities, traditional folk songs, handicrafts, Naga wrestling and traditional weaving are some of the extra-curricular activities that are being taught in the New Creation School on a monthly basis.

Speaking to EastMojo, Vesalü Swuro, the head teacher of the school, said, “Our school was established in 2013. Gradually, we realised that students were not much aware about our traditional way of living. To encourage the younger generation to embrace the Naga way of life, we started giving lessons in handicrafts, weaving, folk songs and folklore from this year onwards.

There are about 230 students from LKG to Class VIII with 16 staff in the New Creation School located in the Sekruzu town of Phek district in Nagaland
There are about 230 students from LKG to Class VIII with 16 staff in the New Creation School located in the Sekruzu town of Phek district in Nagaland
New Creation Ministry

She added, “We have also started to observe a ‘Handicrafts Day’ when both boys and girls are given a chance to display their creations.”

Swuro had earlier served as the women secretary at the Chakesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC) for 15 years, while her husband, Rev Vekuso Swuro had served as a pastor in the Immanuel Baptist Church, both in Pfütsero in Phek district. In 2012, the missionary couple returned to their native land under the New Creation Ministry, chaired by Swuro, which worked on three core areas: evangelism, economic development and education. Although there were no plans to start the school, the necessity eventually grew, which then led to its inception in 2013.

Students of the New Creation School getting lessons in traditional weaving techniques
Students of the New Creation School getting lessons in traditional weaving techniques
New Creation Ministry

Initially, the school started with 26 students and two staff members but currently, there are about 230 students from LKG to Class VIII with 16 staff members. The school also has a hostel, which houses students from 21 villages and towns of the state.

While the initiative has been widely appreciated by the local people, there are some who have criticised the school for its activities.

The school has also  started to observe a ‘Handicrafts Day’ when both boys and girls are given a chance to display their creations
The school has also started to observe a ‘Handicrafts Day’ when both boys and girls are given a chance to display their creations
New Creation Ministry

Talking about this, Swuro said: “People out here don’t know the value of handicrafts. Moreover, some parents feel that there are too many activities in the school and they want us to confine the students to the classroom alone.”

She further added, “We had faced a similar situation when we initially moved here. The local people doubted our intention behind leaving our families and working in a rural area. But we have slowly managed to gain people’s confidence, with village elders and church leaders coming to our school and teaching handicrafts and weaving to our children.”

The couple, in the coming years, hopes to open a lower primary branch in Ruzazho village in the Phek district of Nagaland
The couple, in the coming years, hopes to open a lower primary branch in Ruzazho village in the Phek district of Nagaland
EastMojo image

Apart from the arts and crafts, students are also encouraged to wrestle in the traditional Naga style. Students are also taught the art of story-telling, particularly folklore.

Besides the school, the ministry conducts Bible camps, leadership training sessions for church workers, workshops and seminars for farmers on cultivation, biodiversity and so on, for the rural community.

The couple, in the coming years, hopes to open a lower primary branch in Ruzazho village in Phek district.