Okatakyia Nana Anim I, Former President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), has called on the Ministry of Education to make tourism an integral part of the basic education curriculum.
This, he explained, would not only make the young generation tourism inclined but help develop their carrier paths and make them professionals and managers in tourism and culture.
Nana Anim I made this observation at the 2021 annual Kids in Tourism (KIT) festival held at the Mmofra Place at Dzorwulu, where over 600 children from various schools across the country participated to learn more about tourism and to have fun.
He noted that there was the need to engage the intellect, skills and innate talents of the young ones by promoting education, tourism and culture, amongst them.
“We are doing well as a country to promote tourism and culture but we must also concentrate on the children as well and that is why we want to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to develop a basic curriculum for children.”
Nana Anim I, who is also the Sanaahene of Ati Amanfrom, of New Tafo Akyem Abuakwa, said such an action would build the nation over time to leverage on the opportunities in the sector.
He said tourism per the global evolvement was a competition and Ghana needed vast experience and skill from the children to market Ghana’s tourism potential as they grew.
This, he believed, would give Ghana an edge over her peers and would be a preferred destination for tourism.
Nana Akua Afriyie, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of KIT Club, said the Club, established four years ago, had been organizing the festival as an annual event for its members in Accra but decided to do same in Ashanti Region last year, saying in subsequent years other regions where it had membership would be included.
She said the year’s festival was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority as part of the “Beyond the Return” programme of activities lined up for the “December in GH” events.
Nana Afriyie said the festival, the fifth, attracted over 600 children from about 30 schools from each region across the country.
Some activities that the children engaged in included cultural display, recitals and a grand durbar by the children from all 16 regions of Ghana.
“Resource persons also interacted with them about the tourism potentials of Ghana. There was also the Wear Ghana, Eat Ghana, and Feel Ghana show.”
Ms Afia Afrakoma, Founder of AA Reading Club, who brought some children to participate in the festival, commended the KIT for such an initiative that was geared towards enlightening and educating the children about Ghana’s tourism potentials.
She said tourism was not just about fun but a carrier path, and therefore, platforms like these were important for the children to be able to harness the opportunities in the sector to become professionals and help build the nation.
Ms Afrakuma encouraged the children to cultivate more the culture of reading and writing as reading would expose them to greater ideas and carrier paths, saying her club sought to help children cultivate the habit of writing and publishing stories to help change the trend of having foreign books on Ghanaian shelves.
Mr Eric Dogbe, Assistant Headmaster of Heaven Bells Academy, who brought about 307 children from his school to participate in the festival, told the GNA that the children were elated playing and learning in a tourism environment, saying that the experience he believed would reenergize them for academic work.
Some schools that participated in the festival include Babes International School, New Paradise Complex School, Heaven Bells Academy and Marinel International School, Paradise International School, Winners International School, Starlet International School and God’s Gift International School, among others.