Salone News

NCD’s civic education programme

29 September 2018 at 21:26 | 2062 views

By Bailor Emperor Jalloh, Freetown

The Head of Communication and Public Relations of the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) of Sierra Leone, the Reverend Gibrilla Kargbo has described the 2019 budget ceiling of Le 1.4 billion Leones for NCD by the Ministry of Finance as too low as they need the sum of Le 4.5 billion Sierra Leones to run the Commission for the fiscal year 2019.

Kargbo (photo) was speaking in an exclusive interview with this medium in his NCD office, Youyi Building in the capital city Freetown.

He added that NCD has five functional offices in five districts across the country and one pending for Port Loko district. He pointed out that that adequate funds are therefore needed to run those offices.

NCD is government subvented institution with quarterly allocations which are sometimes delayed.

Kargbo further noted that NCD draws its mandate from the then National Provisional Ruling Council ( NPRC) government Decree No. 15 of 1994 and the superseding Act of parliament No. 3 of 1996. These instruments and the mandate of NCD address the need to develop public awareness of the constitution, and the rights and responsibilities its bestows on citizens.

He said the Commission has been embarking on civic education in thematic areas such as peace education, voter education, political education, development and gender education and education in democracy through the traditional media, social media, town hall meetings, public address system - broadcast vans with mounted loud speaker funnels.

For the past three years in 42 schools across the country according to him, NCD was able to erect flag post platforms, national flags, roll- up stands bearing the national anthem and the national pledge, and reading materials containing national symbols.

In 2018, 35 schools were also targeted with the above mentioned activities and in 2019, if funds are available, they will also target another 33 schools countrywide with the same activities which will add up to 100 schools in the country.

The Agenda for Prosperity of the former APC government mandated NCD to champion the re - introduction of civic education in schools while the new SLPP led central government under the New Direction Agenda for Change says civic education should be incorporated in the Free Quality Education schools’ curricula and to be a subject of its own separated from social studies.

The newly established National Council for Civic Education and Development is focused on the formal aspect of civic education while NCD is focused on the non-formal aspect of civic education by engaging the masses such as traders, young people and farmers as lawlessness is now the order of the day in Sierra Leone.

The mandate of NCD, he went on, is to create and sustain awareness of the public on the principles and objectives of the constitution as the fundamental law of the land; to educate and encourage the public to defend the constitution at all times against all forms of abuse and violation ; to formulate for the consideration of government from time to time, programmes at the national, regional and district levels aimed at realising the objectives of the constitution and to formulate, implement and oversee programmes intended to cultivate in the citizens awareness of their rights and obligations.

NCD’s vision is an independent, dynamic and decentralised Commission dedicated to providing civic education, capacity building and support to citizens of Sierra Leone in order to promote transparent processes, institutions, strengthen civil society and develop an engaged, informed and responsible citizenry.

NCD’s mission is the creation of an enlightened, peaceful democratic and just society in which citizens are empowered to enjoy their civil and human rights and discharge their responsibilities with an attitude conducive to national unity and development.