NCCE “CITIZENSHIP WEEK”; THE YOUTH AND CHILDREN MUST HOLD ON TO DISCIPLINEd THIS ELECTION YEAR….
By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai
Being election year, all citizens are required to contribute towards peace, before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary elections in November. Although the political parties are the main activists in elections, the youth, most of who are in schools, are the major beneficiaries of peaceful elections in future. For that matter the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) which has the mandate to promote Civic education would devote this year’s citizenship week celebrations to sensitize the youth and children on the need to obey their parents and teachers and adhere to discipline and orderliness in Ghana especially during the elections. All disciplined youth would be required to follow rules and regulations at home and school and desist from joining gangs of hooligans to attack innocent persons and political opponents and disrupt elections during the polls. According to official statement from the NCCE this year’s Citizenship Week Celebration under the theme My Ghana: the Power of One, 10,000 basic schools throughout the country have been targeted for the celebrations, adding that the Citizenship Week activities will be organized at the levels of all two hundred and twenty seven 227 District, Regional and National offices of the Commission nationwide. while In 2015, the NCCE engaged 6,000 basic schools during the celebration this year the NCCE will target 10,000 schools an increase of four thousand 4,000 schools.
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has the mandate to promote and sustain Ghana’s democracy and inculcate in the citizenry, the awareness of their rights and obligations through civic education. Citizenship week was introduced in 2012 to target pupils in basic schools across the country. It however, remains part of the annual Constitution Week Celebration to commemorate Ghana’s return to democratic rule by adopting the 1992 Constitution.
The Citizenship Week celebration is always used to remind children of their responsibilities as citizens and the role they can play to build a strong, vibrant and democratic Ghana. It also creates the platform where people in leadership positions and accomplished citizens interact and impart virtues of good citizenship in pupils of basic schools across the country.
Resource persons for Citizenship Week are mostly selected from the following:
Specifically the Project seeks:
To inculcate the spirit of good citizenship in the pupils so they will grow up as responsible citizens
To promote amongst the children ideals of democracy and good governance; and
To increase the children’s knowledge and understanding of some pertinent national issues
3.0 PROJECT STRATEGY
The Commission uses an interactive teaching and learning approach as a strategy for delivering the citizenship week discussions. People in leadership positions and accomplished citizens voluntarily visit selected basic schools throughout the country and spend an hour of their time to interact with the pupils on issues relating to good governance and civic responsibilities. The volunteers, as role models, impart knowledge and values of good citizenship to the pupils.
Citizenship Week activities are organized at the levels of all two hundred and twenty seven 227 District, Regional and National offices of the Commission nationwide. In 2015, the NCCE engaged 6,000 basic schools during Citizenship Week celebration. In 2016, 10,000 basic schools have been targeted for the celebration.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) the Commission will carry out the interactive program with the school pupils across the country from May 26 to June 3, 2016.
Proposed regional quotas for basic schools are as follows:
- Greater Accra – 1,000
- Ashanti – 1,000
- Volta – 1,000
- Central – 1,000
- Eastern – 1,000
- Western – 1,000
- Brong-Ahafo 1,000
- Northern – 1,000
- Upper West – 800
- Upper East – 900
- Headquarters -300
5.0 THEME FOR 2016 CITIZENSHIP WEEK
The Commission will focus on a nationwide campaign to tackle social indiscipline and political intolerance. The Commission would promote the values of discipline, patriotism and nationalism in Ghanaians during the weeklong celebration. The theme for the year’s program is “MY GHANA: THE POWER OF ONE”. This emphasizes the power of the individual to effect change and help create a vibrant and stronger democratic Ghana.
For the 2016 Citizenship Week, a proposed sub theme is “A DISCIPLINED GHANA”. This is to create awareness among the youth of the increased social and political indiscipline such as environmental abuse and degradation, violence, corruption, disrespect for the elderly and disrespect for the rule of law leading to disobedience of rules and regulations in our communities and institutions, and which are adversely affecting our nation. There is therefore the need for all to eschew acts of indiscipline in order to contribute positively to the development of our country. Abiding by the laws of the country no doubt, will create an atmosphere of peace where development can thrive.
Peace is a necessary basis for active participation of the entire citizenry in the democratic process. The absence of peace therefore limits the ability of citizens to exercise this right. It is important for all hands to be on the wheel to work towards maintaining peace especially in this election year and beyond. This can only be achieved if we have a disciplined people. This therefore calls for inclusiveness and participation by all persons, including children.
- The pupils learn the values of being disciplined countrywide.
- Patriotism and nationalism instilled in the youth.
- An assurance of responsible and good citizens in the future
- Improved unity, harmony and national cohesion
- CONCEPT NOTE
A concept note meant to guide speakers at the citizenship week on a general theme ‘’A DISCIPLINED GHANA: MY PERSONALITY’’ says as follows :
The Citizenship Week is a flagship program of the Commission with a focus on school pupils at the basic level. It permits people in leadership positions and the celebrities to interact with the young ones and impart in them the virtues of patriotism and good citizenship as role models and mentors.
The theme for the celebration is “A Disciplined Ghana” which is the sub theme of the general theme for the Commission’s activities of the year-“My Ghana: the Power of One”. Ghanaians are therefore to rise in unity to make our nation the ultimate winner in all endeavors.
The theme of the celebration draws the attention of Ghanaians to the need for discipline in the society. Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules and orders or a code of behavior and punishing them to correct disobedience.
Discipline in all facets of life is important for nation building and the youth is being called upon to exhibit this to right the wrongs of the adults through eschewing acts of corruption, disrespect for the elderly, environmental degradation, under age voting, snatching of ballot boxes, rioting among other vices.
Citizenship bestows on Ghanaians rights and this must be balanced with the appropriate or corresponding responsibilities.
Patriotism is the love for one’s nation and we must be proud first of all to be Ghanaians, and do our best to promote the good name of Ghana.
Respect for the symbols of the state like the national flag, anthem and the pledge, as well as the values we hold in high esteem are duties of a citizen.
A disciplined person is one who:
Obeys the laws of the country
Works hard, both at home and in school
Is punctual at all times
Is truthful and honest
He/she does not cheat or steal
Is tolerant of other persons and groups, including their cultures.
Protects public property
As Ghana goes to the polls to elect our leaders for another four year term, pupils below the age of voting are not permitted to get involved in the electoral process.
Do not be lured or led by any person(s) to commit acts of violence that will mar the conduct of the elections. Failure to stay away from fomenting trouble at the elections, could lead you into trouble. This can affect your education.
The state has a responsibility to ensure that as citizens you are safe in the community where you live and will do anything to protect you.
As pupils, you also have a duty to report to the appropriate authorities anyone who is about to cause trouble or involved in all forms of criminal activities that could affect the elections negatively.
As future leaders, you have to contribute positively to the development of Ghana, and this can be done through peaceful co-existence, tolerance, and respect for each other’s opinions and suggestions.
You are encouraged to take your studies seriously, respect the elderly, learn from them good things and avoid the bad ones.
As we observe this year’s Citizenship Week, the Commission says, ayikoo and may you remain disciplined.
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