The Nyau Cultural Dance Of The Chewe People as an Instrument of Education and Moral Values

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Zulu, Bernadette
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University of Zambia
The aim of the study was to find out whether Nyau cultural dance can be used as an instrument of education and moral values at Katete Day Secondary School. The objectives guiding the study included to establish aspects of education and moral values; to establish some methods used to inculcate aspects of education and moral values, mode of assessment used to measure failure or success; and to establish some similarities in subject’ contents between the Nyau syllabus and that of the formal school. Nyau dance is part of the Chewa culture performed during celebrations by initiated boys. Symbolic interaction theory and qualitative research design were found useful, as the study was qualitative. In this methodology, in-depth interview, observation list and focus group discussion were utilised in data collection. Data was analysed by categorising and extracting emerging themes from the raw data. The study established that Nyau dance contributes in teaching the young people good morals such as good behaviour, respect for the elders, family planning, cooperation, warn on the dangers of certain illnesses, gender equity and hard work. These morals mould the pupils into well-cultured individuals of good character and endurance. Nyau dance follows a structured programme of inculcating knowledge to both the young and old people. Practical skills such as gardening, weaving and agriculture are taught in Nyau dance and are much emphasised under entrepreneurship, which pupils could develop in order to earn a living out. The taboos and beliefs cover a large spectrum of formal schooling subjects such as Veterinary Science, Law (How to settle disputes), Meteorology, Linguistics (learn their culture) Geography, Biology (sex education) and History. Pupils could use such knowledge in formal school. Both formative and summative assessments are used by the Nyau dancers to measure the knowledge learnt. This research has argued that formal schooling education, in its current form, may not be the right vehicle to deliver quality education. What the author recommends is to consider the strength of cultural Nyau dance, and knowledge involved in order to enhance quality education, and to make it relevant to the local people.
Rites and ceremonies--Zambia. , Culture -- study and teaching--Culture -- study and teaching , Art -- Nyau -- Zambia -- Chewa