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Civic Education AT Otjikondo Primary School and Secondary School

The Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Namibia Institute for Democracy conducted a civic education programme for students at Otjikondo Primary School and Otavi Khorab Secondary school. The agenda of the civic programme was to teach the learners about Namibia governance processes, impart skills to enable them to actively participate in democratic space as well as educate them about their rights.

The structure of government

The sessions kick started off by soliciting the knowledge level of participants on the structure of the government followed by conscientizing the students on their human rights. The students were introduced to the three main arms of the government, that is, the judiciary, the executive and the parliament. It was noted that the existence of the 3 arms of the government is to enable the realization of the principle of separation of powers ,a tool for a health democracy. The roles of the 3 arms of government were clearly laid out for the participants.

Human rights and knowledge of the Namibian constitution - Role plays 

In a bid to enable students to comprehend human rights, students were tasked to formulate groups and come up with role plays. The role plays exhibited different fundamental human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Namibian Constitution. These range from the right to life (art 6), right to liberty (art 7) to children’s rights (art 15). Under the children’s rights section , children under the age of 16 cannot do work that is dangerous to their health or development, or work that interferes with their education. Role plays were a key tool for edutainment as students widely appreciated the learning process.

Voting and its importance

NID facilitator Panduleni , hinted that active citizen participation should be nurtured among young people as this will enable them to make informed decisions especially when they reach the age of voting. The platform opened room to understand if students were aware of who is eligible to vote , if they are any students registered to vote and why should they vote in the upcoming Presidential and National elections. It was clear that several students were not aware of the upcoming elections, some among them eligible to vote were not registered voters. Resultantly this paved way for the facilitators Panduleni ( NID) and Emmanuel (HSF) to highlight the importance of voting. Panduleni underscored the very fact that voting is a tool for socio-economic change and to enable citizens to participate in decision making.

Each of the sessions were wrapped up with motivational words of encouragement. Students were reminded of finding their purpose, devoting their time to their studies as they are the future leaders of Namibia in different sectors. It was further pointed out that the future of Namibia, the change they want to see can only materialize if they actively participate. The platform for undertaking this civic education was of paramount importance in socializing the younger generation in order to inculcate a political culture of participation in governance matters.