Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 17.COM 7.c.3

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Kuwait has proposed Al Sadu Educational Programme: Train the trainers in the art of weaving (No. 01905) for selection and promotion by the Committee as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention:

The Al Sadu Society developed the Educational Programme: Train the Trainers in The Art of Weaving in collaboration with the Arts Department in the Ministry of Education, in order to raise awareness about traditional Al Sadu weaving among younger generations in Kuwait. A national curriculum was developed, along with training workshops to help teachers learn contemporary weaving techniques and how to transmit this traditional craft to students. End-of-year school textile artwork exhibitions are also hosted at Sadu House to showcase the programme outcomes. Since the programme's inception in 2018, 30,959 students have completed the course, and sixty male and female art teachers from the six school districts have successfully completed the initial training at Sadu House, going on to train an additional 220 teachers. The programme has had a significant impact on students and art teachers, many of whom have demonstrated a high level of manual ability and creativity in traditional weaving. The positive effects of the programme are evident in the students' artwork and in the teachers' enthusiasm to instruct and arrange end-of-year exhibitions revolving around Al Sadu weaving. Other outcomes of the programme include an increase in traffic to the website, social media engagement and sales of the traditional craft.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the programme responds as follows to the criteria for selection as a good safeguarding practice in paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives:

P.1:   The main objective of the Al Sadu Educational Programme is to safeguard the national intangible cultural heritage of Al Sadu as a traditional art of weaving and to ensure the transmission of the knowledge and skills of traditional weaving to younger generations via the public education system. A selection of heads of departments and art teachers from all six school districts in the State of Kuwait are trained and in turn, impart the knowledge and skills to all eighth-grade art teachers in Kuwait. The programme's safeguarding measures involve training through hands-on learning, presentations, audio-visual materials, and a manual aid for teachers, among others. The programme also involves the re-evaluation of the curriculum, which takes place every two years.

P.2:   The programme has been run at the national level between the Al Sadu Society and the Ministry of Education in all school districts. It is a national programme, although Qatar has expressed interest in the programme and a future collaboration might be imminent.

P.3:   The programme reflects the principles and objectives of the Convention in four ways: (a) safeguarding national intangible cultural heritage of Al Sadu weaving and ensuring the respect of the Al Sadu heritage community; (b) transmitting the knowledge and skills of Al Sadu traditional weaving to younger generations via the public education system platform; (c) raising awareness in the education sector; and (d) encouraging creativity and innovation in young Kuwaiti artists.

P.4:   The programme has had an overall positive impact on the students and art teachers. 30,959 students have completed ‘The Art Weaving’ course since its inception in 2018. In addition, sixty male and female art teachers from six school districts have successfully completed the initial training at Sadu House, and these art teachers have trained an additional 220 male and female art teachers. As a result of the programme, more art teachers are becoming members of the Al Sadu Society. In addition, the general public has engaged more with the cultural centre through visits to Sadu House and participation in the programmes. Although the programme is relatively new and was introduced in 2018, it has already had a positive impact and achieved quantifiable results between its introduction and the submission of the nomination file.

P.5:   The programme is the result of a collaborative effort that includes Al Sadu experts, weavers, teachers and students. It involves students of all genders and from different socio-ethnic backgrounds. Master weavers and contemporary weavers have expressed support for the programme and their wish to share their cultural heritage with a larger audience. The heads of departments and art teachers at the Ministry of Education have also created an efficient platform to gather consent letters for this proposal as well as feedback from students on their first-hand experience. The file includes letters of consent from various weavers, masters and art teachers, among others, demonstrating the communites' consent for the nomination of the proposed programme to the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

P.6:   At the subregional levels, Al Sadu weaving is present in the Arabic Gulf countries of United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait. These countries could benefit from the implementation of a similar programme to safeguard Al Sadu weaving and ensure that the intangible cultural heritage is passed on to future generations. At the regional level, the programme can be a model for educational entities and Ministries of Education to contribute to the safeguarding of local crafts and weavings through similar practices and to develop curricula that help cultivate artistic skills.

P.7:   The file demonstrates the willingness of the State Party and communities to cooperate in the dissemination of good safeguarding practices. Members from the Al Sadu Society, master weavers, and teachers have pledged to continue to share their experience, knowledge and expertise. In 2018, the programme's curriculum was shared online via the Ministry of Education's website, so that other interested parties could access it. In 2020–2021 Kuwait and other countries attended virtual lectures with the goal of sharing the know-how of creating such a programme.

P.8:   The file provides concrete examples of assessments that have been carried out. The monitoring mechanisms established by the Al Sadu Society enables the continued monitoring and development of the programme as it continues to grow. Every two years, the curriculum board at the Ministry of Education reviews the curriculum to ensure it is up to date in teaching methodologies and techniques. There are surveys at every step of the ‘train-the-trainers’ programme and there are opportunities for feedback at the initial training of heads of departments and coordinators. Teachers and students also evaluate the programme and the training process through surveys.

P.9:   The programme can be a model for developing countries, as they can benefit from training in skilled crafts that improve employment opportunities, especially for youth and women. Through similar training initiatives in cooperation with official educational entities, developing countries can create economic and social prospects for their people. Furthermore, by becoming part of the educational entities, trainers are also able to secure employment.

  1. Decides to select Al Sadu Educational Programme: Train the trainers in the art of weaving as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention;
  2. Reminds the State Party of the importance of ensuring the widest possible participation of the communities, groups and individuals concerned in implementing the safeguarding measures of the programme;
  3. Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts to monitor the results and effectiveness of the relatively new programme.