Accra, Sept. 2, GNA - Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, Minister of Education, on Monday suggested that it was necessary to wear Ghanaian traditional attires more frequently to ensure a sense of belonging and national identity, rather than only on Fridays.
'Let us not forget to wear Ghanaian traditional attires always and not only on Fridays to show our national pride, awareness and identity,' the Minister said in a speech read on her behalf in Accra.
'We have gone a long way in securing recognition and appreciation of the values embodied in the various elements of culture,' Prof Opoku Agyemang said in a keynote address at the opening of the 13th Basic Schools National Festival of Arts and Culture, underway at the Labone Senior High School, in Accra.
Selected pupils from Basic Schools from across the 10 administrative regions of Ghana and their teachers are participating in the two-day fiesta, on the theme: 'Our Culture, Our Pride, Our Identity.'
The participating teams are competing in poetry recitals, drama, drum language and choral music, and those who distinguish themselves would be recognized and honoured.
Prof Opoku Agyemang was represented by Mr Stephen Adu, Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service.
She lauded the revival of traditional dressing among Ghanaians to church and public functions and the supplement of hymns with local songs, but noted that; Ghanaians cannot 'assert themselves to have indeed gotten rid of all the vestiges of the negative official colonial attitude to the African Culture.
'There are still few areas of disharmony, between our acquired cultures and traditional practices, beliefs and values,' she said.
Prof Opoku Agyemang said culture was highly essential to the survival of people, adding that the Arts were not just for entertainment, but a reflection of the psyche of the people.
She also commended the unifying of such festivals, as it brings ethnic groups from all the 10 regions to interact and appreciate one another's cultural practices.
'By this, cross cultural fertilization is enriched for mutual benefit, a one Ghana, one people with one strong cultural identity,' the Education Minister said.
Mr Julius Debrah, Greater Accra Regional Minister, in a welcome address, said: 'When we destroy our culture, our livelihood also comes under serious attack.'
He said there was the need to constantly engage and encourage the youth to learn, appreciate and promote the nation's cultural heritage.
Mr Debrah urged teachers to promote drama, music and dance through writing of short plays, songs and also create dances, as well as organising children to dramatize, sing and dance.
Nii Kpobi Tettey Tsuru II, La Mantse, who presided over the opening ceremony, called on colleague traditional leaders to team up with educational institutions to revive beneficial aspects of the Ghanaian culture.