Reinstate WEAVING in Kogi State Schools' Curriculum

Reinstate WEAVING in Kogi State Schools' Curriculum

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Ita'i Our Cloth started this petition

INTRO: Traditional vocation refers to professional activities, which are built on, or developed out of the existing traditional arts and crafts. In Nigeria today, the development/encouragement of viable traditional art forms which will not only develop the mental and physical capabilities of youths but will go a long way in checking unemployment, hooliganism/thuggery and other social vices among our teaming youths. - Prof. Ahmed Rufai Saliu -

TIMELINES: TEACHING Cloth Weaving in Ebiraland 

Cloth weaving was in existence in Ebiraland before the 13 Century A.D. By the 1930's, the importation of multi-coloured machine spun yarns from England to Ebiraland began. Gradually, the use of imported yarns became widespread and the use of hand spun yarns was drastically de-emphasized.  

  • By 1951, the availability of multi-coloured yarns, and the ability of cloth weavers to manipulate the yarns perfectly, encouraged cloth weavers to explore possibilities of creating more complex patterns into the woven cloths. By 1960, various fascinating patterns of colour and figurative/non-figurative motifs were added, and traders from outside Ebiraland at Okene Central Market began calling the cloth ''modern Okene cloth" or simply "Okene cloth". 
  • The apprenticeship in cloth weaving in Ebiraland was once solely a family responsibility. That is, up to 1960, mothers were teachers of their daughters on cloth weaving. Around 1964, teaching of cloth weaving was introduced in primary school at Okene as one of the Domestic Science subjects, with girls in primary four to seven benefitting from this. 
  • In the 1960's, a private businessman - Alhaji Yusuf Utohu, established a weaving centre - "Okene Weaving Centre'', with expert weavers employed to teach others. In the early 1970's another private weaving centre - "Ododo Weaving Centre", was established at Ogaminana by the Catholic Mission to encourage primary school leavers (girls) who had no opportunity to pursue further academic studies to improve themselves on modern cloth weaving.
  • In 1972, the Ebira Education Authority started their train-the-trainer program by sending some female teachers to a State established Home Economic Centre (an extension of the State Ministry of Agriculture/National Resources) at Ageva (Okene Local government Area) to receive more training in Domestic Science, cloth weaving inclusive. By the end of the 1970's, the program had about thirteen Centres with many graduates. 
  • In the late 1980s, a new approach to cloth weaving was introduced - the horizontal loom. It sparked more interest and curiosity in the younger girls, who quickly mastered the new weaving technique. 

Today however, most of these programs are obsolete, having suffered a similar fate - no Government support, inadequate finance, lack of supplies, theory only with no practicals leading to lack of interest in both teachers and pupils. 

We Can Change This!

This petition's focus are as follows: 

  1. To reinstate the teaching/learning process of traditional cloth weaving in our schools up to tertiary level along with other art forms;
  2. To establish vocational centres or cottage industries to give modern training to youths for self employment and to reduce redundancy, political thuggery/hooliganism, and all other social vices. 'Trade Centres such as "Okene School of Weaving", "Akwete Weaving School" can be established by State Governments and/or meaningful individuals;
  3. To improve the cloth weaving technology like the loom, so as to increase interest and the aesthetic quality of hand-woven cloth.

Thank you for Signing!

Weaving in Ebiraland




46 have signed. Let’s get to 50!