Directorate of Civic Education in the Ministry of Local Government, Unity, and Culture has backed the proposal by the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust to reintroduce civics in the school curricula by the end of 2024.
The ministry’s Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Elizabeth Gomani Chindebvu, emphasized the need to teach children good behavior at a young age.
She made the sentiments during an engagement meeting with the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) on the reintroduction of civic studies in Zomba district.
“This subject will help the young ones to know the basics of how to relate to one another, take care of the public property, be transparent, and be accountable. Through this activity, we will help the young ones to work hard and become good citizens,” said Chindebvu.
Although there is a Social Studies subject in the curriculum, the ministry wants civics to stand out as a subject on its own, as it is critical for mindset change.
The Executive Director for MIE, Dr. Fritz Kadyoma, indicated that civics has been around for a long time, but the Ministry of Education, which is the policyholder on curriculum matters, decides on the integration of similar concepts to avoid overwhelming the learners.
“There are people that believe that we are not doing enough about civics that is the reason why there is decay in patriotism and a decay of understanding the rights and responsibility among the citizens so as curriculum development center. We are willing to listen to what the public says about it, but in terms of policy, the Ministry of Education holds the role with regards to designing the policy and what policy can be taken MIE will just follow the Ministry of Education,” Kadyoma said.
Grey Kalindekafe, Executive Director of NICE, believes that introducing Civics as a subject will help reduce undemocratic tendencies among young people.
“Civics in our old days helped us to develop positive characters, so bringing it back will be an engine room of trying to create a citizen who is civically educated,” he said.
The reintroduction of Civics as a subject will help instill important values and behaviors in young people, preparing them for responsible citizenship as well as equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand their rights and responsibilities and become active and engaged citizens.