November 21, 2017
The National Commission for Democracy (NCD), with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has organised a two-day workshop to validate a draft curriculum on Civic Education for the non-formal sector. The validated curriculum was designed by expert curriculum developers during the two-day workshop on 28 and 29 July at the Makambo Resort in Makeni
The validation workshop, hosted at the GGEM Hall, John Street in Freetown on 17 and 18 November, attracted participants from various universities and key stakeholders in academia who thoroughly analysed the draft document to ensure it is fit for purpose.
Addressing the workshop on behalf of the Commission, Commissioner for the Southern Region, Marian Samu, informed participants that they are going to validate a document that will contribute immensely to the development of the country. She posited that the absence of Civic Education in the curricula of schools and tertiary institutions has negatively affected attitudes and behaviour of the youth of today, adding that most youth behave inappropriately in society because they were not fortunate to have been taught Civics in schools. She further commended the effort of the Commission in putting it energies together to promote the reinstatement of Civics into the curriculum, adding that the curriculum on Civics for the non-formal sector will enhance the democratic credentials of the country.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, who also served as Lead Facilitator for the validation, Professor Ekundayo J. D. Thompson, underscored the need for the validation of the document as Civic Education is vital to the consolidation of the country’s democracy. Alluding to his contribution in promoting Civic Education, the professor said he had written extensively on Civic Education, thus referring to work he had done in developing curricula on Civic Education for adults and youth out of school in Kenya. He applauded NCD for taking the lead in ensuring that a curriculum on Civic Education for the non-formal sector is developed.
Welcoming participants to the workshop, Commissioner for the Northern Region and Focal Person for Performance Contract with State House, Bai John Conteh, said that the validation workshop was meant to authenticate the draft document.
He said the Commission in its quest to see that people get the right education that will positively impact development of the country was poised in ensuring that the document is validated, the reason they brought together experts from various universities and professionals in the field of curriculum design to ascertain and certify the document with a view to ensuring that its content meets the objectives for which it was created.
The Principal of University of Makeni, who was also Lead facilitator for the development of the document, Rev. Father (Prof.) Joe Turay, emphasised the need for the document especially as the country is in a hurry to have this kind of course incorporated into its educational system. He said the country can sustain its democracy when it is enlightened enough to understand the values and concept of democracy.
In his comments, Executive Secretary at the Basic education Commission in the Ministry of Education, Horatio Nelson-Williams, said the lack of Civic Education in the country’s school curriculum for a very long time has seriously hampered the country’s democracy. He said most people go to the polls to make decisions but do not know what their votes really mean to them. Because of the lack of basic civic knowledge, he said, some people do not vote based on competence, but tribal or regional lines, which he said will not augur well for the development of the country.
Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Commission, Professor David S. Koroma, underscored the need for Civic Education to be incorporated into the curriculum of schools and tertiary institutions as soon as possible. “Time is not in our favour”, he emphasised. Professor Koroma applauded the Commission for inviting him to be part of what he referred to as a history making event, noting that he had always been looking forward to such kind of development in the educational system of Sierra Leone.