‘Children Must Contribute Quota Towards Building Democracy’

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has marked its Citizenship Week celebration with a call on Ghanaian children to contribute their quota to deepen the country’s democracy. Commemorated on the theme, “Indiscipline and how it weakens the pillars of our democracy,” the week-long celebration is meant to inculcate in the children positive attitudes towards building Ghana’s democracy. The educational programme, which runs concurrently in about 7,000 basic and junior high schools (JHS) across the country, is also meant to instill in the children the need to develop the right virtues and values expected of them as citizens. Stratcom Africa CEO Addressing pupils of the Methodist 1 & 2 Basic School in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stratcom Africa, Ms Esther Cobbah, urged the children to be proud as Ghanaians and contribute their quota towards building the nation’s democracy. She encouraged the children to know their civic responsibilities and eschew any act of mediocrity, saying that children were major stakeholders in nation building and could not be allowed to indulge in social vices. Ms Cobbah cited instances of behaviours that were likely to jeopardise their future and stop them from achieving their set goals and targets in the not-too-distant future. Rights to question leaders Ms Cobbah, who was one of the volunteers and resource persons invited by the NCCE for the celebration, tasked the children to question their leaders and neighbours whenever they sensed that something was not going right. “As children, you should be able to question the intention of your leaders when they are doing something wrong which may not be in the interest of the entire country,” she stressed, and added that the 1992 Constitution gave them the full right to do so. She dismissed claims that it was only adults who were expected to be responsible citizens, adding that “Nation building is a shared responsibility which includes children.” Emphasising the theme for the celebration, Ms Cobbah said it was timely, since children were the future of every nation. She charged children across the country to develop a positive attitude towards the development of the nation, further encouraging them to contribute their quota to ensure that the country would grow from strength to strength. Drama presentation To illustrate to the children their responsibilities before, during and after general elections in the country, a drama presentation was showcased to them. The drama was also used to demonstrate to them how to adopt positive attitudes towards voting after every election in the country. According the CEO, the drama was used to showcase to the children that discipline is the key element to the development of every nation. “The drama was to inform the children that election doesn’t mean we’re enemies. We’re one people as a nation,” she said. Background It will be recalled that in the Wednesday, May 21, 2014 edition of the Daily Graphic, the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs of the NCCE, Mrs Joyce Afutu, disclosed that the commission sets apart a week each year for, especially, the youth in Ghana, on whom the future of the nation depends. “If Ghana will become a great nation, it starts with the youth,” she asserted. To meet this goal, she said the NCCE in 2012 instituted Citizenship Day as part of activities marking its annual Constitution Week. According to her, Citizenship Week creates the environment where people in leadership positions, professionals, academia, great and accomplished citizens living in communities who the NCCE engages as volunteers interacts and impacts virtues of good citizenship and the need to uphold democratic governance in pupils in basic and junior high schools across the country. “Citizenship Week further aims at encouraging mentorship for pupils,” she stated. From a humble beginning of visiting 757 schools, with 145,800 pupils participating in 2012, the programme was extended to 4000 schools and 1,000,000 participants in 2013.