Revitalising citizenship education in the national curriculum: -A top priority for government


07-December-2011

More emphasis on service learning projects and activities to develop the spirit of voluntarism and the sense of patriotism in our youth The individual, the family, the community, the country and the international community are the main themes addressed.

Ten years later, there have been various changes in society as well as at world level. Those have brought about many challenges, emerging needs which require new thinking, new skills, attitudes and behaviour.

Societal expectations and aspirations, global issues and challenges require education systems to adapt and meet new educational requirements, thus necessitating new teaching and learning methodologies and materials.

Furthermore, even though citizenship education is an integral part of the national curriculum framework there have been many challenges regarding its implementation in schools, and too often the curriculum intentions have not been met.

It is for this reason that the Education Reform of 2009/2010 established a priority area of intervention entitled ‘Creating Responsible and Empowered students’. One of the strategies to be implemented is the development of a citizenship education curriculum in schools. This call to revitalise the subject was further reiterated in televised programme En Moman Avek Prezidan aired on the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation TV on the occasion of the National Day (June 2011).

To show a strong political commitment to this endeavour, President James Michel made an official announcement in the Teacher’s Day message in October 2011 that citizenship education will feature as a separate subject in all secondary schools and post secondary institutions as of 2012.
It is anticipated that this move will contribute to give more visibility and credibility to the subject, enhancing its status.

At this juncture it is worth noting that the name citizenship education is retained in line with trends in many countries where the subject is an important component of their national curriculum and also in line with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) requirements. Also Unesco defines it as a subject which provides learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to play an effective role at local, national and international levels, helping them become more informed, thoughtful and responsible citizens aware of their duties and rights. It promotes their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, making them more self-confident and responsible both in and out of the classroom.



Co-curricular and extracurricular activities should be given due importance

It encourages students to play a helpful part in the life of their schools, neighbourhoods, communities and the wider world. 

It also encourages learning about values, respect for different national, religious and ethnic identities and develops their ability to reflect on issues and take part in discussion. (Unesco 2001).

In line with this definition the department of education is committed to pay special attention to improving the curriculum, the content of educational materials provided including the use of new technologies, the methodologies used for teaching and learning and more importantly the central role of the learner. Young people need to know and take part in their society. In that context an understanding of the society they live in is essential if they are to develop into informed, confident, responsible and resilient citizens.

Through citizenship education, the young Seychellois should be able to understand, appreciate and preserve their own cultural background and its diversity, their natural environment and heritage. They should be aware of issues that impact on people both at local and global levels.

It is expected that learners who follow the programme will acquire life skills which allow them to ask meaningful questions, analyse and evaluate information and ideas, and use them for effective decision-making and problem-solving in public and private life as required in a democratic society.

Effective implementation of the citizenship education curriculum:
• Goes beyond the four walls of the classroom. As well as exploring a series of deep concepts and processes around justice, democracy, rights and responsibilities, it will help young people to take actions to change their communities for the better. Emphasis will be placed on service learning projects and activities to develop the spirit of voluntarism and the sense of patriotism. 

• Lays emphasis on a “whole school approach” and a “whole community approach” where school members and the local community are partners and adopt a collective responsibility. Co-curricular and extracurricular activities should be given due importance.

• Depends on the support and care that the school provides where the learner is encouraged to take part in his/her own learning and where each contribution is valued and appreciated.
• Necessitates that the school ethos be realigned to be consistent with the aims and purpose of citizenship education and affirm and extend the development of learners into active citizens.

Through citizenship education, young Seychellois should be able to understand, appreciate and preserve their own cultural background and its diversity, their natural environment and heritage

In order to revitalise the implementation of citizenship education in secondary and post secondary institutions, a technical team has been set up under the supervision of the Centre for Curriculum, Assessment and Teacher Support (CCATS). The team’s mandate is to plan and develop a new citizenship education framework and corresponding curriculum and resources for students and teachers at both levels. A series of training workshops for teachers, curriculum leaders, school managers and other partners will be organised and conducted as of January 2012.

It is anticipated that necessary provisions are made throughout the course of 2012 to revitalise the subject for implementation at primary level in 2013.

In this era where political, economic, environmental and social problems citizens faced are more complex and challenging than ever before, it is hoped that citizenship education will forge a new and better relationship between citizens and the state based on a clearer understanding of roles, rights and responsibilities of 21st century citizens of Seychelles.

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *