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RIYADH: The Saudi Ministries of Culture and Education recently awarded pre-university general education students who emerged winners of the second edition of the Cultural Training Competition held in Riyadh.

The winners received a total of 9 million SRÁ ($2.4 million) in prizes, and the competition organizers signed three contracts to support outstanding talents.

The ceremony was attended by Education Minister Yousef Al-Benyan, Deputy Culture Minister Hamed Fayez, officials from the two ministries, Saudi cultural and artistic pioneers, and the parents of the winning students.

The Cultural Skills Competition is a national competition launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education, the aim of which is to motivate younger generations to shape the future of culture and art, to participate in creation, and to excel.

The competition includes 10 categories: drawing; Arabic calligraphy; film making; photography; plucking; singing; short stories; manga; poetry; and theater. The purpose of these categories is to discover and develop the skills of male and female students in cultural and artistic fields and the perfect investment of their energy.

Fayez affirmed the Ministry of Culture’s support for the development of students’ cultural skills, noting that such a competition would contribute to the promising and prosperous future of the cultural sector.

“Education is the basis of our journey to build our cultural capacities. Our strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education has culminated in a number of proud achievements, underscoring the importance of supporting the partnership for greater prospects,” added Fayez.

The winner of each category received 100,000 SRÁ ($26,659), while the runner-up received 75,000 SRÁ and the third place received 50,000 SRÁ, in addition to financial rewards of 1.4 million SRÁ for their parents.

According to Dr. Yousef Al-Hamoud, Director General of Student Activities at the Ministry of Education, this year’s competition generated impressive participation and widespread interest among students, with more than 400,000 participants in the various categories.

“The competition among students at such events helps them discover and refine their artistic and cultural skills,” said Al-Hamoud.

Al-Hamoud told Arab News that the success of the Cultural Training Competition reflects the importance of the joint work of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, which contributes to the development of the cultural and artistic abilities of the participants, to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. and building a competitive citizen worldwide.

At the ceremony, three contracts were signed with strategic partners to support outstanding talents. The first contracts were signed with Manga Arabia Co., a company specializing in creating creative content and producing and publishing Arabic and Japanese storyboards. According to a statement from the organizers of the competition, the company will serve as a training platform for participants in the manga category to learn and master this art, and to transform the passion of talented students into unique works of art.

The second deal was with Anghami, a Saudi digital music company. For the winners of the vocal and strumming categories, he will create mini-albums containing four songs each, and they will also hold a special training camp focused on honing their artistry.

The third deal is with MBC Media Solutions, which hosts top talents at the MBC Academy, enrolls them in the upcoming skills database of MBC’s business, and gives them opportunities to appear and stand out in multiple fields.

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