Govt urged to prioritise Arts education

Mr Sedofu presenting top award to students and teachers of Oti Boateng SHS for emerging victorious in the quiz.

Mr Sedofu presenting top award to students and teachers of Oti Boateng SHS for emerging victorious in the quiz.

Madam Gifty Opoku, Eastern Regional Coordinator of Senior High Schools for the Ghana Education Service, has called on the Ministry of Education to prioritise arts education and encourage its learning among students to enable them develop critical minds for national development.

According to her, scientists have revealed that art was the best way to educate not only the man’s mind but the heart as well, adding that it also promotes problem solving, creativity, observation and communication.

She stated that the benefits of arts education towards nation building were essential hence the need to encourage students to take up art courses to develop their talents.

Madam Opoku made the call at the third edition of the Senior High School Visual Arts Quiz and Drawing Competition in Koforidua on Thursday. It was organised by the Eastern Regional Centre for National Culture.

Madam Opoku expressed worry over the perception held by some Ghanaians that the visual arts subject was for the academically weak, explaining the subject should be seen as an equally important course needed for nation building.

In that regard, she stressed the need for educational reforms and orientation to change attitudes of Ghanaians against the subject.

She therefore appealed to the Ministry of Education to encourage support for quality and safe school arts programmes by organising art shows, special exhibitions, competitions and camps for the youth and students.

“We need to recognise arts as a viable factor in the total educational curriculum that develops citizens of a global society, direct attention to the value of art education for divergent and critical thinking, increase community understanding and interest in art education through involvement in arts exhibits, workshops and other creative ventures.”

She also appealed for an expansion of art programmes in schools and the stimulation of new arts programmes.

In all about 12 senior high schools including New Juaben SHS, Mt. Sinai SHS, Koforidua Senior High and Technical School, Oti Boateng SHS, Ghana SHS among others, participated in the quiz.

Oti Boateng SHS emerged winner of the quiz, while Pope John Senior High School and Ghana Senior High School placed second and third respectively.

For the drawing competition, Oyoko Methodist High School emerged winner with Oti Boateng SHS and Ghana SHS placing second and third respectively.

Mr Stephen Sedofu, Eastern Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture, stressed the need for the country to raise a generation of creative individuals who can use “their hands and minds” to create jobs for themselves and employ others.

“People practising arts are better placed to solve unemployment problems in the country,” he said.

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