About Us

About Us

Establishment and Mandate

Civic Education in The Gambia is perceived as a process through which the citizenry acquires knowledge, skills and values that are needed for effective democratic citizenship. Based on the perceived need to promote the civic consciousness of the citizens, the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia (chapter XVII, Article 199(1)) provides for the establishment of a Civic Education Programme, whose mission and mandate are to:

  • Create and sustain within society, awareness of the principles and objectives of the Constitution as the fundamental law of The Gambia;
  • Educate and encourage the public to defend the Constitution against all forms of abuse and violence;
  • Formulate from time to time for the consideration of Government, programmes at national, regional and district levels aimed at realising the objectives of the Constitution;
  • Educate the citizens of the Gambia about international, regional and sub-regional matters relevant to The Gambia;
  • Formulate, implement and oversee programmes aimed at inculcating in the citizens of the Gambia awareness of their Civic and Fundamental rights, duties and responsibilities.

Corresponding with the 1997 Constitutional provision for The Gambia Civic Education programme, The Gambia National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) Act of 1998 was passed. The NCCE was created as an independent non-partisan Council under the Constitution. It is task with designing and co-ordinating Civic Education programmes and to serve as the advocacy component to the National Governance Programme. The Act thus places responsibility on the Council, for sensitisation, information and education of the citizenry, particularly at the grassroots, of their rights and responsibilities under the constitution.

The NCCE Organisational Structure & Administration

The Council

The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), as provided in the Constitution and established by the 1998 NCCE Act of National Assembly, is the governing body of the civic education programme.

The Council which meets once every quarter has 5 members including the chairman who is the executive head and four members. The Council carries out its mandate through the following organ.

The Secretariat
The Secretariat is the administrative arm of the NCCE. It is headed by an administrative secretary, who is supported by technical and support staff. The secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day operation of NCCE activities and programmes. The current staff of the secretariat consists of the Administrative Secretary, Deputy Administrative Secretary, Programme Officers, Civic Education Officers, Civic Education Supervisors, Secretaries and Ancillary Staff. At grassroots level NCCE relies on the services of grassroots facilitators to deliver Civic Education Programmes.

The Scope and Content of Civic Education

The Gambia Civic Education programme, in accordance with the mandate for Civic Education, has very broad scope that encompasses activities for citizens’ education, information and communication within one mould.

The Civic Education Strategic Programme is designed to weave the various components of the broad scope into a synergy such that each theme becomes holistic.

The Civic Education central sub-component Education for Democratic Citizenship is analyzed with focus on ten (10) major themes which are summarised as follows:

The Gambian ConstitutionObjectives:

  • To promote better understanding of the purposes of the constitution
  • To enable citizens understand how a constitution is developed
  • To develop the will amongst citizens to defend the constitution

Content

Purpose of the constitution:

  • Ensures fundamental rights & freedoms
  • Guarantees participatory democracy

The constitution as fundamental law of the land

CitizenshipObjectives:

  • To educate the public on the constitutional provisions of citizenship
  • To appreciate the importance of citizenship documents
  • To encourage citizens acquire citizenship documents

Content

Qualifications for citizenship:

  • By birth
  • By residence
  • By parentage

Ways of acquiring citizenship:

  • By birth
  • By naturalisation
  • By registration
  • By marriage

Citizenship documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Identity card
  • Passport
  • Voter’s card

 

Democracy
Objectives:

  • To promote understanding of the concept of democracy
  • To promote awareness of the characteristics of democracy
  • To enhance participation of people in the democratic process

Content

Definition and characteristic of democracy

  • Meaning and nature of democracy
  • Free and fair election
  • Observance of fundamental rights and freedoms

 

Democratic institutions

  • Independent electoral system
  • Ombudsman
  • Political parties
  • Civic education
  • Civil society
  • Media

Democratic process

  • Electoral process
  • Administration of justice
  • Rule of law
  • Multi-partism
  • Information, education and communication (IEC)
Rights & ResponsibilitiesObjectives:

  • To educate citizen about their rights and responsibilities under the constitution and other international human rights instruments
  • To promote affirmative action in the protection of the rights of women, children and marginalized groups (e.g. the aged, the disabled, etc.)
  • To develop an understanding of the process of seeking redress from violation of rights

 

Content

  • Fundamental rights and freedoms
  • Other rights e.g. economic, political & cultural rights
  • Responsibilities: personal & civic
Knowledge
  • Create awareness of fundamental and other rights
  • Understanding of freedoms and their limitations
  • Understanding the corresponding responsibilities of every right

Government

Objectives:

  • To promote understanding of the meaning and nature of government
  • To foster understanding of the structures of government, their functions and interaction
  • To develop a positive attitude towards government
  • To foster understanding of the functions of the different levels of government
  • To promote understanding of how national events and international relations influence the Gambia

Content

  • Purpose of government
  • Arms of government
  • Central and local government
  • Gambia Government and the international community e.g. United Nations, Commonwealth, ECOWAS, African Union, etc.
  • Local contemporary issues
GovernanceObjectives:

  • To promote the values of accountability, transparency, probity and the rule of law among the citizenry
  • To foster active civil society participation in governance
  • To enhance the capacities and capabilities of civil society for self governance

Content

Accountability and transparency

  • Political
  • Financial
  • Mora
DecentralisationObjectives:

  • To promote understanding of the rationale for decentralisation
  • To foster understanding of the process of decentralisation
  • To enhance capacity for active participation in decentralisation
  • To enlightened the citizenry on poverty issues

Content

Devolution of authority, responsibilities and resources

  • Purpose
  • Process

Localisation of governance

  • Inclusive involvement of civil society
  • Building of civic capacities and capabilities for self governance
  • Collective self reliance
  • Collaboration & partnership with agencies

Patriotism

Objectives:

  • To nurture the spirit of patriotism amongst the citizenry
  • To foster understanding and appreciation of the national symbols, anthem and pledge

Content

Loyalty to:

  • the state
  • the government
  • the society

National Symbols:

  • Flag
  • Coat of arms
  • Public seal

National anthem & pledge

Good citizenship

  • Contribute to nation building
  • Respect and observance of the rule of law

Promoting Gambian cultures

Conflict Prevention and ResolutionObjectives:

  • To nurture the culture of peace
  • To encourage a culture of dialogue and debate among individuals and groups
  • To promote non-violence modes of conflict resolution

Content

Sources of conflict: e.g.

  • Religious
  • Economic
  • Political
  • Social (e.g. ethnic, etc)

Prevention of conflict

  • National dialogue
  • Compromise

Management of conflict

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Reconciliation
  • Traditional ways & methods of reconciliation
National SecurityObjective

  • To enable citizens to understand the roles and functions of national security agencies
  • To appreciate the need for national security
  • To encourage citizens to actively participate in the maintenance of national security

Establishment and Mandate

In the process of the roles of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) a variety of media and delivery systems are used. The medium for communicating Civic Education messages are usually through both the formal and informal channels. The formal include radio, television and newspapers. The folklore drama groups and community outreach activities form the basis of the non-formal channels.

1. Radio & Television Programmes

The radio and television are widely used in civic awareness creation. Community radios are instrumental in dealing with local issues whereas the national radio and television normally cover issues of national concern. The strategy use is through panel discussions, live phone-in and airing of special activities in which NCCE and other stakeholders are involved.

2. Community Outreach Activities

This delivery method is based on the premise that grassroots participation is fundamental for the development of civic knowledge, skills and values. It is therefore necessary for activities to be undertaken at community level. The strategies involve the use of open village meetings as means of transmitting civic information and messages. Participation of women and youth groups will be essential for the success of community activities.

3. Newspaper Publications

The expansion and proliferation of newspapers in the Gambia is growing rapidly. Many of the newspapers have a wider readership both within the Gambia and outside of the country and they are online. Civic education with the use of this delivery method is essential. The strategy use involve writing publication of civic education messages in the form of articles and inviting the journalists in civic education forums and sensitisation meetings.

4. Folklore Drama Groups

Gambia has a rich tradition of folklore drama. Folklore drama groups have traditionally been used for the entertainment and teaching of the younger generation on important cultural norms and values. The groups use songs and drama to convey important social and moral messages.

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