LILONGWE – Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo, has hailed the National Civic Education Policy saying it is the right direction in ensuring that citizens are made aware of their rights and responsibilities so that they can demand for more accountability through the civic enlightenment.
Mtambo made the remarks at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Monday when he presided over the launch of the National Civic Education Policy.
The policy is the first of its kind in the country.
He said the policy would also reduce lawlessness as citizens would be more informed of their rights and responsibilities as opposed to the past when the focus was on citizens’ rights.
He said a citizen who is aware of his/her responsibilities is likely to act more responsibly.
The Minister was optimistic that the policy which is a result of multi-stakeholder consultations would ensure a vibrant civic education implementation.
He, therefore, assured the nation that his Ministry would work hard to create a fertile environment for the implementation of the policy.
“The policy is going to coordinate activities of civic education providers in the country. The policy is going to promote establishment of civic engagement platforms within the country. The policy is going to deal with misinformation and is going to deal with duplication of information and is going to eventually consolidate efforts which different civic education providers have been doing in the country.
“We have specifically tasked NICE to provide leadership that the citizens across the country should be aware about this policy. This policy is following a multi stakeholder approach to say we should all do our part because building responsible citizens is a responsibility of all of us. It cannot be a responsibility of one institution and I will make sure that this policy does not become another white elephant,” he said.
National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), Executive Director, Ollen Mwalubunju said the Policy has filled up gaps such as the gap in collaboration among various stakeholders such as academia, private sector, Malawi Human Rights Commission and Anti Corruption Bureau among others.
European Union representative, Ivo Hoefkens, said civic education is a crucial component to achieving mindset change against certain behaviors and practices that are harmful as championed by state Vice President Saulos Chilima.
EU has been a key donor to NICE.