“Song is the language of teaching for children, which greatly influences their growth and development. Therefore, children's songs should contain moral values, messages of love, and knowledge about Indonesian culture and nature," he expounded.
However, in recent times, quality children's songs have become more difficult to find, the minister said. This has become a challenge for parents and educators, he added.
For this reason, the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), in collaboration with KITA Indonesia, has organized the 2021 Kita Cinta Lagu Anak (KILA) contest, he said.
"The 2020 Kita Cinta Lagu Anak (KILA) contest proved that even during a pandemic, Indonesian children could still be creative by partaking in positive activities," he added.
Quality work was produced during KILA 2020, and it will be followed up with recording and shooting of music videos, Makarim said.
He urged Indonesian children not to be discouraged from learning during the pandemic, adding one such avenue of learning is participation in KILA 2021.
“I invite all Indonesian children to participate in KILA 2021. KILA is an excellent learning and cultural event. Therefore, I also encourage schools and educators to socialize this event," he said.
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The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed learning and play for children, Makarim noted.
KILA contest aims to embrace Indonesian children who have lost out on learning and play through children's songs, he remarked.
Starting from the kindergarten to elementary age groups, KILA aims to encourage children to be active, creative, and make art cheerfully, he said.
Meanwhile, director general of culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid, said children's songs are a means of helping children become familiar with their identities, foster self-confidence, and have pride in their Indonesian roots.
"KILA is an effort from the Ministry of Education and Culture to restore childhood for children so they can develop naturally during the pandemic and to help children develop a sense of identity by knowing and singing Indonesian children's songs," he explained.
Chairman of KITA Indonesia, Dhenok Bientarno, said KILA 2021 will be held from July 23 to August 23, 2021.
The contest includes a children's songwriting competition and a children's song singing competition for the kindergarten and elementary age groups, he informed.
Participants at the singing competition will also be requested to sing new songs created by the 2020 KILA contestants, he said.
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