Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Education to implement domestic tourism project
The Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Education is to implement a Domestic Tourism Project, which aims at encouraging students in Junior and Senior High Schools to participate actively in tourism related activities.
The project which is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012, would be implemented on pilot basis, with the initial phase focusing on ten selected schools, one in each region and preferable in the deprived communities.
The project, under the theme, “Every child, a Tourism Enthusiast”, is centred on tourism as a development strategy to help achieve the eight targets of the Millennium Development Goals’ and also to engender national unity and cohesion amongst one another.
Miss Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism, said domestic tourism had not taken shape because Ghanaians were engaged in their traditional and social affairs , saying, Ghanaians hardly had time to tour the country.
She said there was the need for all Ghanaians to create time for leisure and pleasure to relax and see how other parts of the country looked like.
Ms Dansua said to kick start the project, it was important to involve children since they were the ones who could encourage and advise their parents to patronise domestic tourism.
She noted that new curricula would not be created for the schools but rather the old curricula would be maintained in implementing the projects.
Miss Dansua said the project would help students become familiar with the customs and tradition of other groups of people across the country thereby minimizing the level of ethnocentrism among them, and encouraged Ghanaians to emulate the high patronage of domestic tourism in other countries and to take the project seriously.
Mrs Mary Quaye, a Director at the Ministry of Education said there were 40,000 schools in the country ranging from kindergarten through to the tertiary level, and the age groups of those children was important to the domestic tourism drive.
She said education without skills left students with a very narrow mind saying, the project would automatically help promote practical learning in the educational system.
Mrs Quaye said tourism was an area where employment opportunities could be generated for the teeming unemployed youths across the country, and urged both parents and students to reshape their minds to move into vocational and technical areas where better opportunities existed for them to live better lives.
Dr Joel Sonne, Project Director said the project would enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the country, facilitate the transfer of skills, develop sustainable livelihoods and create employment opportunities for young people through domestic tourism.
He said the rational for the development of domestic tourism through the educational system was premised on the fact that the youth as contributors and consumers of domestic tourism upon graduation from high school, could become ambassadors of Ghana tourism, tour operators, tour guides and active producers and consumers of tourism.
Dr Sonne noted that although some schools organized excursions for the students and were taught subjects such as geography and history, there was no conscious effort to integrate and practicalise travel and tourism in schools curriculum.
He said not only would patrons increase in domestic tourism but it could also lead to deeper national pride , stronger appreciation for various Ghanaian cultures and a deeper knowledge , acceptance and respect for diversity of Ghana in terms of its norms, history , geography, foods and ecotourism among others.