Ghana’s 30 years of constitutional democracy – The relevance of Citizenship Week
The National Commission for Civic Education’s constitutional mandate is to create and sustain the awareness of the principles and objectives of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which forms one of the flagship programmes of the Commission.
One of these programmes is the Annual Citizenship Week celebration, which targets basic school pupils across the country to remind them of their responsibilities as agents of change and future leaders.
This has the ultimate goal of ensuring that they contribute to building a united democratic Ghana.
Mrs Eugenia Obodai, the Akatsi South District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said the celebration, which was usually a week-long event, is held every year from May 26 to June 2.
This year’s theme is: “30 Years of Consolidating Constitutional Democracy: Building National Cohesion through Civic Education and Participation in Local Governance.”
However, she said the 2023 Citizenship Week Celebration would be celebrated on the Sub-theme: “30 Years of Consolidating Constitutional Democracy and Building National Cohesion: The Role of the Ghanaian Child.”
The implementation strategy to be implored during the celebration, which starts from May 26 to June 2, would include a mentorship approach by using resource persons who have excelled in their chosen occupation.
“As the Commission celebrates 30 years of consolidating our democratic gains and building national unity, it is important to reinforce civic values in children to reorient their attitude toward playing positive roles in our democratic journey,” Mrs Obodai said.
Children are a spring of life and an extraordinary blessing to any nation, they are future leaders and change agents in peacebuilding, hence the NCCE’s strategy and slogan of “catch them young.”
Key objectives of the Citizenship Week Celebration
The relevance of the Citizenship Week Celebration, according to the NCCE, includes inculcating the spirit of good citizenship in pupils to enable them to become responsible citizens, ensuring that some of the resource persons adopt Civic Education Clubs as external patrons, instilling the spirit of volunteerism in pupils, and to reinforce adherence to values such as patriotism, peaceful coexistence, and respect as building blocks for national cohesion.
With the goals such as reminding basic school pupils of their responsibilities as agents of change and their role in building a strong and peaceful democratic Ghana, 8080 pupils are being targeted to be engaged for the nationwide exercise.
The Commission, which is guided by three core values; Integrity, Presence, and Independence, reiterates the need for a disciplined citizenry exhibiting values of good governance as the best way to sustain Ghana’s democratic gains.
These values, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, are meant to ensure progress as one people, and the additional provisions in the Constitution that point to the need to allow these Ghanaian values to motivate citizens’ actions to exhibit patriotism and honesty as espoused in Article 41, detailing the Duties of a Citizen.
A cross-section of pupils from some selected schools within the Akatsi South Municipality, told the Ghana News Agency that they were eager to be exposed to the Constitution, which they expect would bring several benefits.
In conclusion, it is important for every citizen to be clothed in the Ghanaian identity and allow that to guide every endeavour.
“Nationalism and patriotism must be the guiding principles of a united people, breaking barriers to develop, to stay united, sustain our democratic gains as well as avoid the seeds of indiscipline, moral and social decadence, and intolerance.
The Citizenship Week celebration is meant to educate the school children on the need to be patriotic citizens as the future leaders and also educate them on Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution, which relates to the “Duties of a Citizen.”
By Agbaxode Emmanuel