The purpose of this assignment is to discuss the assertion that civic education is a prerequisite to national development.Firstly,it will define major words in the assignment and this will be followed by a detailed discussion of the assertion that civic education is a prerequisite to national development and finally a conclusion. Civic education may be defined as the process of educating citizens of their rights and responsibilities in order to empower and motivate them so that they can participate in the governance process of a nation.Gutmann (1987:287) defines civic education as “The cultivation of the virtues, knowledge and skills necessary for political participation.” National development is the ability of a country to improve the social welfare of people, for example by providing quality education, water, good transport network, good health so forth. Civic education is a required prior condition to national development because it helps people to understand not only their rights but their responsibility and the role they play as members of civil society. Civic education teaches students patriotism nationalism, civility, cooperative learning, Critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, all these lead to national development. Freire (1970:92) comments “True dialogue cannot exist unless the dialoguers engage in critical thinking which perceives reality as processes of transformation, rather than as a static activity.” National development takes place when citizens understand public policy and how to monitor and influence public policy, and this can be achieved when citizens have knowledge of civic education. Civic education helps citizens to understand the importance of voting and staying informed about governance polices. Civic education helps citizens to identify problems, gather information and develop action plan to policy makers and how to implement their own projects. Citizens with good civic education uphold human rights and human diginity.This means that people are able to participate freely in politics of a nation and this enables people in a nation to have freedom of expression and in turn contribute to national development by expressing their views on issues of governance. Civic education equips the citizenry with practical knowledge on how their own electoral system, legislature, local government and legal system operate. Citizens with good civic education knowledge know their civic rights and duties, For example enlightened citizens contribute to national development through voting. These citizens participate in elections and put leaders whom they think can bring development.Citizens have the responsibility of influencing government decision. These citizens can decide on which party should lead the nation as they read their party manifestos, from the information which citizens gather, they decide on which party has better policies and programmes which can be used to make government decision that will benefit their nation. Civic education is needed for national development because citizens who are enlightened know their family, community and national rights. Citizens whom know their family rights are able to better their lives and also influence developmental projects in their community. For example citizens who know their constitution rights take time to visit their elected members of parliament in their offices to clarify issues they are not clear about and also make suggestions that can help in developing their communities’ thus spreading development to the whole nation. Galston (1989:93) argues that “citizens need to develop the capacity to evaluate the talents, character and performance of public officials.” From the above quotation it can then be concluded that citizens and civil society groups need to strengthen their ability to interact with others and those in authority and also make their voices heard by those in power. Civic education help citizens to understand...
References: 1. Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the Oppressed in, The Political Economy of Development and Underdeveloped. New York: McGraw-Hill.
2. Galston, w. (2001). Political Knowledge, Political Engagement, and Civic education. Annual Review of Political Science.
3. Gutmann, A. (1987). Democratic Education. Princeton N.J: Princeton University.
4. Mwaipaya, P. (1980) The Importance of Quality Leadership in National Development. With Special Reference to Africa. New York: Vantage Press Inc.
5. Putnam and Robert, D. (2008). The Rebirth of American Civic Life.USA: The Boston Globe.
6. Richard, G. and Junn, J. (1998). Civic Education: What Makes Students Learn. New Haven: Yale University Press.
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