June 14, 2024

Modern problems cannot always be solved by modern solutions; sometimes, going back to the fundamentals is the key. Living in a democratic country means freedom, a lot of freedom. Freedom and rights are always used as shield when voicing out opinions or commenting on something becomes excessive. But to what extent can we exercise our freedom and rights? What are the other duties we have as citizens? Do we know the basis of our rights? How many senators are there in the senate?
According to researcher J. Rietbergen-McCracken, “Civic education, also known as citizen education or democracy education, can be broadly defined as the provision of information and learning experiences to equip and empower citizens to participate in democratic processes. The overall goal of civic education is to promote civic engagement and support democratic and participatory governance. The idea behind civic education is to promote the demand for good governance, such as an informed and engaged public, as a necessary complement to efforts to improve the practice of good governance.”
Participation in civic life is critical to the long-term viability of our democratic system of governance. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people will not survive without it.
Civic education is comprised of three elements: civic knowledge, civic skills, and civic disposition. All elements advocate for proper values and education. It is not only focused on being politically aware but also on teaching the country’s true history and roots, its culture, and traditions, as well as its constitution and laws. Citizens’ civic abilities refer to their ability to examine, evaluate, and act and defend public policy positions, as well as use their knowledge to participate in civic and political processes like monitoring government performance or mobilizing other citizens around certain problems. Civic dispositions are the characteristics of citizens that make a democracy work, such as tolerance, critical thinking, and the willingness to listen, negotiate, and compromise.
It is timely and relevant today not only because of the upcoming election but also because we are under the threat of misinformation and disinformation perpetrated by troll farms and constant manipulation of information.
Building our citizens’ civic identity and knowledge will greatly help our country develop and help in the efforts to eliminate long-known problems such as corruption and political neutrality, minimize disinformation, and achieve better discussion and argument among peers. (ARTHUR VINCE SANLAO)