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Creative arts education must be taken seriously – Dr Senkbeil

Dr. Peter Senkbeil

Dr. Peter Senkbeil

Students in Ghana and Africa must take creative arts seriously as it remains a very valuable part of education, Provost, Concordia University Irvine, USA, Dr Peter Senkbeil has said.

Speaking at a day’s symposium at the Wisconsin International University College in Accra, on the topic, “The Economic Benefits of the Creative Arts industry in the Education Sector, Dr Senkbeil said, the notion that creative arts was meant for the not so brilliant students must be ignored.

He suggested that schools must create a period or a particular week for students to study creative arts and develop the interest in that area.

That he said must be done from the basic school level through to the colleges and the tertiary levels.

“Institutions of learning in Ghana and other parts of Africa must consider making creative arts a part of the school’s curriculum. Arts courses must be added to provide more opportunity for students to study and develop interest,” he added.

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He said, creative arts students were equally good as other students as they were required to be disciplined.

“They have to master very difficult skills and rehearse for hundreds of hours to make performance look natural, which is not an easy thing to achieve,” he explained.

Arts he said, must be taken seriously and people in the industry deserve a seat at the table as they require human development, skills and discipline to get to the required level.

“It is important to acknowledge that everyone is creative. We always see the creative arts as reserved for some few gifted people but everyone has the ability to grow in their artistic ability and express them adequately,” he added.

He said, when Ghanaians explore those aspects of their lives through creative arts, they can produce more creative and fully rounded people.

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He added that, creative arts help to acquire soft skills like the ability to analyse problems and think critically, communicate and collaborate with others in ways that would benefit the society as a whole.

“It provides the set of skills that would help one develop in a different way more than someone who is just focused on technical areas of specific professional skills,” he stressed.

Study and practice of the arts he said, helped in intellectual and emotional development of students as it involved hard work and constant practice as well as development of skill.

“Opportunities must be provided for the youth and children to engage in the arts, visual arts, music, theatre and dance as it is important to their development,” he stated.

He added that, creative arts also provide real economic benefits, employment for not only those directly involved, but everyone in terms of promotion and distributing arts and culture.

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“It has enormous impact on USA, UK and South Africa and the opportunities are available for other countries to grab. Africans must take their rich culture and heritage and find ways to share them to the world and generate economic benefit,” he stated.

Also speaking at the symposium was Dr Cheryl Williams, Vice President Intercultural Relations Concordia University Irvine, USA on the topic, “Responsible to Crisis: A communication guide on race/ethnicity, class and gender in today’s workplace and marketplace.”

She encouraged communications students to take crisis management very seriously as it helped to tackle very serious issues in organisations.

Mr Ramsey Jay Jr, Investment Management Executive, Motivational Speaker and Author, Califonia, USA also spoke on the topic “Leadership and the 21st Century Dynamic Investment Management Framework.


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