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NaCCED presents final draft of civic education textbooks to President Bio

9 August 2020 at 19:45 | 1081 views

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The National Council for Civic Education and Development (NaCCED) today presented the final draft documents of the national civic education (Civics) textbooks to President Dr. Julius Maada Bio at his presidential lodge office in Freetown. This comes a year after a civic curriculum development team was set up by the council charged with the mandate to develop and produce curriculum contents in the form of textbooks, in order to acquire innovative approaches for the promotion of good citizenship especially for pupils in classes 1 to 6 and JSS 1 to 3. The final draft documents were presented by the Chairman of NaCCED’s Steering Committee, Dr. Denis Bright, and the Head of the Civic Curriculum Development Team Professor Joe A.D Alie.

In his opening remarks, NaCCED Chairman Kalilu Totangi expressed gratitude to the president for being forthright and forward looking in setting up the Council for civic education and development. He said that the council since its inception has established the Head office in Freetown with the appropriate level of staff and recruited regional coordinators for the four administrative regions in the country. He expressed immense thanks to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Sierra Leone Teachers Union for their sustained support to the council. He implored the president to continue to support the council as its interventions are timely and critically needed. Chairman Totangi also, briefed the president on a just concluded massive engagement with 120 Youth leaders in Makeni and its immediate environs on the recent youth related violence in the city of Makeni that caused the loss of lives and destruction of both private and public properties. He stressed the absolute need for continuous civic engagement with youth through appropriate information sharing.

In presenting the Civic Education draft textbook documents, Prof. Joe A.D. Alie said that citizenship education aims at producing citizens who have respect and concern for one and other, recognizes and appreciate the equality of all human beings, have regard for rules and laws and opposes all forms of discrimination, promote a spirit of cooperation, tolerance and peace in the society, have awareness of their rights and responsibilities in a democracy and also, citizens that can meaningfully contribute to the national economic growth through self-development amongst others.

“Citizens education is not about trying to fit everyone into the same mould or an indoctrination. But it is rather aimed at presenting learners with different viewpoints and allowing them to make informed decisions for themselves,” said Prof. Alie. He added that citizenship education involves a wide range of different elements that includes knowledge and understanding, skills and aptitudes, and values and dispositions.

Left to right: Prof. Joe Alie, Dr. Dennis Bright, Kalilu Totangi and President Bio

Dr Denis Bright, while presenting the final draft documents, expressed optimism that civics will change the current situation of young people in the country. He emphasized that focus should not only be on the youth, but children and adults as well. Given the current situation of youth related violence in the country, NaCCED is timely and positioned to change the dynamics through effective engagement and overall civic education. He added “NaCCED is ready for work because every recent event justifies the absolute need for the intervention of civic engagement.”

Responding to the NaCCED delegation, President Bio expressed gratitude to the Council for taking national issues seriously. He stated that a sure way for correcting societal ills and shortcomings is by gradual approach through civic education. According to the president, when things fall apart, they happen in bits and pieces and to rebuild requires the same progression. The president furthered that for one to be proud of his or her country, one needs to recognize the peculiarities of the country in order not to lose their identity and heritage. Civics, the president stated, is a big part of what we want to achieve and it takes conscious and deliberate efforts to bring back Civics to our schools. He advised that the textbooks be digitalized so that the level of access will be enhanced and sustained for now and generations to come. According to the president, civics encourages one to be proud about where they come from because there is no small history as history tells us who we are and there is a compelling need to remember our heroes and use it as a national strength to fight for what we want and build resilience. The president concluded that “we have been a great nation but we have forgotten that, because we are not reminded about our past interventions”.

The core areas and learning outcomes for this Civics text books are live skills acquisition, peaceful co-existence, unity and national cohesion, relationships, roles and responsibilities, good governance and global citizenship. The writers of the Civic Education textbooks are Prof. C. Fyle, Pro. Joe A.D Alie, Mr. Prince Fisher, Mr. Nelson Williams and Mrs. Kadiatu Fofanah. President Bio supported the recommendation of NaCCED and the rest of the delegation, to have Civic education (Civics)be adopted as a separate and stand-alone compulsory subject in schools to enhance its success and effectiveness.

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