‘Education – The key to empowering the next generation’ “Thirty years ago, on June 18, 1993, the people of Seychelles voted in the Constitution of our Third Republic, making a conscious choice of the type of government we wanted. We chose a democratic s |15 September 2023
‘Education – The key to empowering the next generation’
“Thirty years ago, on June 18, 1993, the people of Seychelles voted in the Constitution of our Third Republic, making a conscious choice of the type of government we wanted. We chose a democratic system in which all power stems from the will of the people. Weadopted a framework of government thatwould ensure, through the participation and continuous contribution of all our citizens, an adequate and progressive social order that guaranteed food, clothing, shelter, education, health and a steadily rising standard of living for all Seychellois ina politically and economically independent State.
“We considered that our democratic society was best served by effectively maintaining and protecting equal and inalienable human rights as the foundation for freedom, justice, welfare, fraternity, peace and unity. To this end, we pledged, as citizens, to participate actively in the sustainable economic and social development of our society.
“As we contemplate the chosen theme – ‘Empowering the Next Generation’ – on this International Day of Democracy, let us be mindful of that fundamental right to participate in government granted to us under Article 24 of our Constitution. Every citizen of 18 years of age is guaranteed the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through an elected representative. That right to participate carries with it a corresponding duty for every citizen to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law, further the national interest, foster national unity, work conscientiously in a chosen profession, occupation or trade and contribute towards the well-being of the community. Additionally, every citizen is called upon to embrace the noble intentions set out in the Preamble of our Constitution.
To empower the next generation, we must do much more than preach to the youth about ‘one man/woman – one vote’. Democracy is nurtured and can flourish only if we teach our youth how the will of the people freely-expressed through a free and fair electoral process determines the political, economic, social and cultural system that the greater number chooses.
“Empowering our next generation, therefore, demands that the present generation gives our youth the space, the know-how and the resources to enable them to truly and fully participate in all aspects of their lives as citizens. We are duty-bound to educate our youth to enable them to cultivate the knowledge, skills and competencies they need to actively engage, participate in and contribute to society.
“To achieve this, we must open up and create the spaces within which civil society and our youth can operate. In this Age of Information where the quest for knowledge comes with misinformation and disinformation that can severely distort and disrupt the decision-making process, our priority must be in addressing and helping to cancel out the negative effects of fake news and conspiracy theories.
“Ultimately, the youth must choose to be empowered and, above all, must desire the outcome – Democracy. For in the final analysis, ‘Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right … and a desire to know.’ —John Adams, 1765.