Civics plays a major role in our lives but sadly most of us have just read it or mugged it up as a subject to pass. Firstly we should brush our memory and understand what does civic education means, well in simple language civic education is the study of the theoretical, political, and practical aspects of citizenship as well as its rights and duties. An effective civic education teaches children about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and the understanding of how the government works. Civic engagement stems directly from students’ own experiences and ideas.
A dynamic civic education program supports the students in learning to take action and to speak up which is very essential in these recent times as one should be aware of their citizenship duties and to stand up for the oppressed and the needy in times of adversity. Teachers play a very important role as they are the ones imparting this knowledge to us, teaching us about civic issues that the country is facing like cleanliness in cities, illegal construction, lack of public toilets, drinking waters, etc.
Therefore the schools must engage the children in collaborative action research projects, where they investigate and address an issue that is relevant to their communities now such activities would make them problem solvers and would help them in taking responsibility. They should enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem, and confidence which in turn would make every student feel empowered and strong enough to contribute to their community and their country.
One more step that can be added in making the civic education program stronger is to start community clubs in schools as civic issues are the backbone of every country and it is crucial that students understand its significance. Now, these clubs must have compulsory participation and regular visits should be organized in areas where people are facing these issues then the children should be asked to analyze the situation and give a suitable solution as to how can the community tackle the problem. Also, models of developed countries can be taught to them in order to make them more effective.
Another aspect in which civic education can be taught is through workshops and seminars. Education on civic issues is the need of the hour as these issues include all economical, religious, and political problems faced by a country such as a gap between rich and poor, discrimination, exploitation, corruption, environmental issues, and politically encouraged riots. The knowledge of all these issues must be imparted to students through seminars also guest lecturers can be arranged weekly or monthly. Suggestions must be invited on a given problem and even trivial questions should not be discouraged. Camps and awareness rallies must be organized by students that can strengthen their understanding of the subject.
Well, we have often experienced this thing and have even done it where we don’t tell the children or the young ones the truth and paint a virtual reality before them now in order to impart skills or knowledge among children about civic issues the teachers must tell them about socio-political reality rather than creating a fabric of lie and explain to them about what is going on. To create awareness among students there is a need to connect the classroom environment with the social and political realities and talk about the controversial topics that take place on a day-to-day basis. Talking and debating about such topics would help the students in understanding how society works and would take away their awkwardness or shyness from approaching such bold subject matters.
Hence coming towards the end I would like to point out that unlike other senses in a human body, the civic sense is not inherited it has to be nurtured and developed first by parents and then by teachers and most of us believe that civic sense is just about keeping the roads, streets clean but the topic is much broader than that it is about ones responsibility towards their community, their nation and towards its laws. We as adults have to deepen our mindset and make it broader towards civic education and then and only then can we achieve a generation that is much more sensitized about civic issues.