6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2014 8:58 PM by RSS

    Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations

    bherrera C4D Explorer
    Visibility: Open to anyone

      Hello.  I am from Dominican Republic. I am concerned about the quality of civic education that our young citizen are expose to or the lack of it. Which would be an effective way of engaging them on learning proactively about theirs rights and obligation taking as base the national constitution and other applicable laws? The objective is to increase the awareness of citizen on social and economic issues that are neglected by the lack of understanding the basic rights and obligations. I am thinking on a way that be positive, easy to follow and inclusive.  Thank you.

        • Re: Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations
          C4D Explorer

          Hi Belkis,

          I am from Peru. And I am concerned by the same issue. Schools and teachers don't really care about civic education (when I was kid, I remember many of my civic education classes consisted on going to play football because the teacher didn't show up). I think, however, that a good civic education is key for a healthy process of identity building. However, instead of focusing more on the national constitution and other laws, my perspective would be to depart by asking questions regarding the student's neighborhood, where do they come from? why to be proud of belonging to such place? what are their neighborhood's needs? and what are their rights and responsibilities with regard to their neighborhoods? it should be like a process of self-discovery. If we start too high in the level of abstraction (national constitution and laws), it will be more difficult for them to engage.

            • Re: Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations
              bherrera C4D Explorer

              Hello Camila

               

              It sounds very interesting and interactive.  Which situation or setting will be good to deploy those insight questions and what type of support/resources do you consider are minimum to start the process.  Have you consider a focus group as a baseline to define operational strategies?

                • Re: Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations
                  C4D Explorer

                  Hi Belkis,

                  An important thing to do would be that schools develop partnerships with local agents and community organizations that could contribute towards a better territorially-based civic education. From my experience in Lima, Peru, usually, there are community organizations and NGOs working with youth (even more in at-risk areas). However, governments don't usually do a good job trying to articulate these kind of efforts. I think that's a very interesting challenge to think for development practitioners.

              • Re: Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations

                A lot of progress had been made in improving teaching of science, mathematics and even language such as English (at least in my part of the world, Southeast Asia). Perhaps one difficulty about focusing international attention on civics education or citizenship education is the diversity of the content and focus of civics education in the different countries. Essentially, it is country- or nation-focused, hence international or intergovernmental organizations are not ready to make specific interventions in that area.

                 

                Another issue is the need to develop a comparable set of learning metrics across countries for benchmarking. Math and Science are well covered through the TIMMS; perhaps other international benchmarks cover other learning areas. But civics do not have international benchmarks, and other countries can not compare their performance (and thus focus development efforts) in that learning area.

                  • Re: Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations
                    C4D Explorer

                    Hi Belkis,

                     

                    Benito made a very interesting point. Since this is such a context-specific course, it might be difficult for international organizations to engage with this issue, and it might be difficult as well to create international benchmarks. But benchmarks can work sometimes as a double-edge sword...particularly in such an fuzzy area (were we don't really want standarization). However, I guess that more general issues that might be related with a good civic education, could be more feasible to compare across different contexts, such as degree of civic engagement, student's rights, student's identity conception, and so on. 

                      • Re: Increase awareness on citizen's  rights and obligations

                        Hello

                         

                        Thank you for your contribution.  Besides the benchmark or parameter for comparison I would like to consider a creative way of starting an engagement project addressed to a particular population.  Maybe start with a survey to understand the level of awareness on rights and obligations of the target population. Any literature that makes reference to such as subject will be welcome.   I will keep on searching a venue to develop the process and present it to a NGO for support.

                        BH