The 2017 edition of the Central Regional Festival of Arts and Culture has ended in Cape Coast with a call on students to cherish the country’s unique cultural heritage to promote national integration and cohesion.

The festival was aimed at offering the students the opportunity to exhibit their unique cultural and artistic prowess to represent the region at the national festival of Arts and Culture scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 30 this year.

It was organised by the Ghana Education Service (GES) on the theme: “The impact of cultural practices on the protection, education and development of the Ghanaian child.”

It featured school children from 20 districts in the region who competed in beautiful cultural performances, choral music, sight singing, drum language, poetry recitals, drama, needle works and sewing.

The occasion witnessed a fiercely contested cooking skills of the various contestants which reflected the multifaceted cultural dishes and depicted the ethnic diversity and uniqueness of the Ghanaian population.

The event had on display artifacts, sandals, traditional drums, woven baskets, clay pots, bowls, hats and necklaces, wrist band made of beads among others.

The beautifully dressed  students, decorated with Kente, beads of varying kinds and  sizes showcased their African artistic dance styles as tons of applauds and gifts poured from  the spectators.

In an address to the participants, Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan stressed the need for parents and teachers to coach and support children to enable them unearth their God-given talents to better their lives.

He reiterated calls for children to desist from blindly copying foreign cultures and hold on firmly to the country’s rich culture for posterity.

Mr Duncan encouraged the youth to be proud of their culture and portray themselves as Africans and added that “any group of people without specific cultural traits are misplaced in the society and are therefore not culturally liberated.”

Mr David Afram, Regional Director of Education said the region was endowed with unique traditional cultural products that must be explored to generate revenue to support development.

He underlined the significant roles teachers played in the upbringing of children and urged them not to give up regardless of the militating factors but take solace in the lives they transformed.

He commended the participants for showing strong commitment towards promoting and sustaining the rich Ghanaian culture.

The programme was attended by officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES), teachers, Chiefs, politicians and Africans from the Diaspora.

GNA