I read about child poverty every time I see a headline and it never fails to worry me. However, there is a different type of poverty that is rife and I feel that it is going to get worse as it seems that if something does not make a profit, it is worthless these days. I am, off course, referring to creativity.
I will be honest; if it was not for creative activities a huge part of my life would be colourless. Creativity keeps me going; it gives me hope and satisfaction and it keeps me company when I feel lonely or even isolated. It wakes me up at 5.30 a.m. every morning and makes me get out of bed whatever the weather. I honestly do not know what I would do without it.
This is not about me though; it is about our children – the children of our country – the children of our world. In other words, it is about tomorrow’s scientists, entrepreneurs, captains of industry, actors and writers. All of these professions need creativity and yet it seems to be so lowly valued.
I’m not an expert, and this is just my opinion, but as I read about hundreds of thousands of teenagers having to resit their English GCSE, sometimes more than once, I have to wonder what is going wrong. When I read a school librarian’s blog and she states that primary school timetables are often so tight that certain classes do not have 20 minutes to spare to visit the school library, I realise what it is. Many of these children are victims of creative poverty.
It may be that their parents before them have suffered the same and so they grow up in homes that are starved of creative thinking. When the children get to school the teachers are as heavily corseted as a Victorian lady with prescribed aims and objectives that they don’t have the freedom to promote creative thinking.
If only primary schools could be allowed to nurture a passion in children for reading and writing by encouraging creativity all the way through the timetable, instead of worrying about constantly ticking boxes.
If only teachers could be allowed to be truly creative and be permitted to engage this passion, I feel it would pay off at a later date with the children.