CRITICIZING the institute
As I mentioned in another blog post, this year will be my fourth year studying in MCAST. I feel that as the years go by, the system of the school is really lacking behind and is also becoming untidy and not student friendly.
To start off with, there isn’t ENOUGH SPACE. The institute now holds more than 1000 students whereas when I entered, there were about 600 which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing about it is that it means interest in the art sector is growing at a fast rate but the bad thing is the dedication of the students. A couple of weeks ago I overheard some new students which said that they are attending the institute only for the stipend and so they could “shut their mother’s mouth and just study for their sake because art is easy”. I was really offended by this comment mainly because it is showing the lack of intelligence some new students have in this institute.
Referring to the problem of space, an example which shows that there is not enough room to accommodate all these students is when it rains, obviously students do not want to get soaked outside in the rain and therefore everyone sits down in the corridor which makes it difficult for anyone to pass. Also when people are changing classrooms for their lectures, there is a big commotion. The staircase next to the staff room is too narrow for two rows of people to pass through.
Another problem is the classrooms and workshops. Some of the classrooms do not have any projectors or they are not working. There are some air conditioners that need maintenance and some are not even working. I would like to give an example with the fine arts studio. There isn’t enough ventilation in the room. When we are drawing with oil paints and using turpentine, the odour is very toxic and the only ventilation we have is two windows which currently cannot be reached due to the wooden boards blocking the passage, since they were used for the exhibition. Also there is no connection to the WIFI which is a problem for both the students and lecturers, it takes ages to connect and which means is time lost from the lectures.
The library has really good books in it and I frequently make uses of the resources it offers but I can forget it that I can sit down and read and research in the library. Once again there isn’t enough space to work.
The workshops are one of the most things I strongly want to criticize. As much as the institute “tries” to improve the machines and tools, nothing actually happens. The stone workshop is too small to accommodate the class I am in which is of 17 students. The size of the workshop should only accommodate 8 PEOPLE! This is a very serious health hazard and even though they tell us to wear protective clothing for all of the lectures that take place in ANY workshop, the workshop itself is not safe. The ceramics workshop does not have enough machinery and sometimes is also not working which makes the workshop useless. The institute does not provide any materials for the students, for example clay and plaster of Paris.
Last year I bought my own clay and plaster and one of the lecturers asked me if I could give it to the workshop after I finished from it since the order for more bags of plaster and clay did not arrive. It was a shameful experience that the administration and MCAST was not providing enough sources for the students.
I find it totally unfair that the Media courses have all the equipment they need and high class studios whereas the workshops in general do not have any professional or adequate machines, tools and materials.
The timetables should be more well spread and thought of more well, waiting for 3 hours and just staring and doing nothing is a waste of time, especially now that there are no study area students can work in.
A bigger canteen should be considered and also cheaper prices on the food is a must. Students have no place for them to sit down and be comfortable and have their break properly, once again we sit in the corridor or if one can find a bench available. Recently the floor is becoming everyone’s friend! If they can’t build an area, they should at least add benches in the small space of the “outdoor canteen”.
I must congratulate the hard working lecturers because the staff is very dedicated and professional!
I do not feel safe in the institute because it isn’t big enough and if an accident may happen for example a fire, there aren’t enough exists for students and members of staff to go out from and people can easily get hurt.
If students are going to keep on increasing, MCAST needs to pull up their socks and address this problem as soon as possible and maybe go and join the Paola Campus where there is surely enough space to accommodate students and staff.