Something good is coming the way of drama and theatre at the Senior Secondary School level as the Ghana Education Service is collaborating with the National Commission on Culture and the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts to organise a four-day National Drama Festival to run at the National Theatre from September 25 through 28.
Launching the festival last week at Ashaiman, Deputy Minister, Dzifa Gomashie, herself an accomplished actress, told a select number of student participants that by their association, her ministry is poised to inculcate Ghana’s rich cultural values into the future leaders of this country.
“We intend to encourage you to script, produce and direct your own plays, and to generally nurture talents in the arts.
The Festival will give the Regional Drama Festival which is organised by the Centres for National Culture and the GES a new dimension as winners from the 10 regions will have the opportunity to interact with their colleagues from other regions.”
Madam Gomashie said the influx of foreign culture was gradually causing Ghanaian youth to adopt undesirable values and regretted that the technology era of today has created a situation where most youth have abandoned reading and writing.
“It is our hope that the National Drama Festival will bring back the desire of reading and writing among students especially second cycle students”’ she said.
Similar positive sentiments of outcome of the festival were expressed by Mr Freeman Aguri, Director of Cultural Education at the Ghana Education Service (GES). He said the GES was committed to a comprehensive and meaningful cultural education for the youth and people of this country and the new festival was directed towards that goal.
My Aguri revealed that the preparation for the festival started at the school level, where the competition took schools to the zonal and regional levels.
“Eventually, the peak of it all will be the National Drama Festival where the winners from each of the 10 regions would converge in Accra and compete in the last week of September.
This programme, he said, aims at applying the practical aspect of the creative arts syllabus in schools, as a cultural activity that clearly helps to define who we are.
“Drama is a discipline that embodies our beliefs and one powerful medium of sending out messages meaningfully, to the audience and the public in general.
“This drama season or festival is one aspect of Arts education that will help the student to think critically and imaginatively to arrive at a unique component in developing the mind. By this, the student is able to respond to processes as well as embrace all domains of knowledge in life”, Mr Aguri said.