Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani on Friday tipped District Information Officers (DIOs) and District Community Development Officers (DCDOS) on Civic Education delivery approaches in Lilongwe.
Botomani said that civic education is an integral part of national development for it imparts knowledge and skills to the citizens on various aspects of life such as issues of rights and responsibilities, health, culture, agriculture, governance, nutrition, environment and climate change.
He further said that citizens are supposed to be familiar with their duties towards government as well as to be aware of responsibilities of government to its citizens in order to build effective citizen and government engagement.
“Citizens levels of civic empowerment and motivation influence their levels of participation in governance and development processes,” said Botomani.
However, Botomani noted that the realization of this objective requires effective civic education delivery methods that would bring desired behaviours and attitudes among the citizenry, therefore, urging DIOs and DCDOs to use the approaches taught in delivering civic education in their respective districts.
“Ministry does not have civic education officers in the district councils. It relies on you DIOs and DCDOs, to implement some of the civic education activities at district level. As such, I implore upon you, as extension workers to incorporate civic education into your normal work activities,” said Botomani.
He also expressed worry that the lack of knowledge among most citizens is being stimulated by; poor coordination in the delivery of civic education; multiplicity of actors who are not qualified civic educators; duplication of efforts in the delivery of civic education as well as misinformation due to inconsistent messages which eventually lead to poor quality of civic education.
The 2018 Governance Survey Report done by National Statistical Office (NSO) disclosed that 77.6 percent of Malawians are aware of their human rights but only 20.4 percent are able to seek redress when their rights are abused while 21.5 percent do nothing when violated this then indicates that majority of Malawian lack in-depth knowledge of human rights and democracy.