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Friday, 24 August 2018 14:22

Civic Education Policy ready by September – Luhanga

Written by  Trouble Ziba
Principal Secretary for the Ministry of  Civic  Education Mrs Ivy Luhanga speaking during the National Civic Education Policy Meeting. Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Civic Education Mrs Ivy Luhanga speaking during the National Civic Education Policy Meeting. pic by Stanley Makuti.

Lilongwe, August 24, 2018. The long-awaited National Civic Education Policy is in the final stages of development and will be ready by the end of September, 2018, the Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development disclosed on Friday.

“It is the desire of the ministry to finalize the policy by the end of September, 2018 at all costs,” said Ivy Luhanga, Principal Secretary in the Ministry.

Delivering her opening speech at a validation workshop of the policy at Pacific Hotel in Lilongwe, Luhanga said government appreciates the role which different stakeholders play in educating the masses on various issues that affect their life.

However, she said in the absence of a civic education policy, there have been a number of challenges in the implementation of civic education programs by different stakeholders.

“Civic education programs by some organizations dwell on a few issues which target a few communities in varying depth, and most of the issues are not evidence-based.

“This is largely due to the absence of a policy to regulate the civic education sector,” said Luhanga, adding that the situation has also created room for unqualified individuals and organizations to provide poor quality services in civic education to the citizenry.

The Friday’s validation workshop was aimed at providing the opportunity for stakeholders whose inputs the ministry solicited through regional workshops across the country a couple of months ago.

During the first workshop held at Lilongwe Hotel, Executive Director for National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust, Ollen Mwalubunju described the civic education stakeholders have conducted in the country since 1993 as “not transformative” due to the absence of a policy on the same.

In his remarks before the PS at the Friday’s workshop, Mwalubunju said once in force, the policy will assist NICE Trust to fulfill government’s objective of achieving the spirit of hard work, integrity and patriotism amongst the citizens.

He said five years after Malawi achieved a multiparty dispensation through a referendum in 1993, some citizens were dissatisfied with the type of governance in the new dispensation. Others thought the country needed more time to consolidate its democracy.

This disparity in perception led to the birth of NICE Trust in 1999. Government mandated the trust to spearhead civic education to encourage people to vote in the second election (1999) after noticing resentment in some citizens after the 1994 election.

However, Mwalubunju said without policy guidance, it has not been easy for his organisation to effectively spearhead civic education services in the country.

“The policy will assist to bring sanity in civic education delivery among stakeholders as it will offer technical advice, coordination and unity among other aspects,” he said, asking government for speedy completion of the policy.

Both Luhanga and Mwalubunju observed that the civic education that has been conducted in the country since the dawn of multiparty (1993) has dwelt much on the rights of citizens, undermining their responsibilities.

The European Union (EU) funded the workshop through NICE Trust. Participants included nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations and government departments, just to mention a few.



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