Importance of Civic Education: In a democratic society, civil education teaches self-government. Democratic self-government means that citizens are engaged and involved in their own governance.
The ideals of democracy are completely actualized when citizens and members of the community share in the government. Here, membership equals participation, based on information and acceptance of rights and responsibilities.
However, do we really need civic education in Nigeria? If yes, then why? What is the importance of civic education?
Interestingly, answers bordering on the importance of civic education to Nigerian society will be addressed on the page. But we go on, what do understand by the term “civic”?
What Do You Know about Civic?
Before we delve deeper into the importance of civic education, note. The word civic is derived from the French word ‘civique’. This simply means citizen.
Civics refers to the various things done which could affect another citizen especially as it relates to the maintenance of the society and its development. Having known what civic is, I feel you will want to know what civic education is. Right, okay then, let’s go.
What is Civic Education?
Before we delve deeper into the importance of civic education, note. Civic education is the study of the theoretical, practical and political sides of being a citizen. Also, it is the study of the roles, responsibilities and rights that come with it.
Civic education includes the study of civic law, civic code, and the responsibilities of government towards citizens. Also, it refers to the duties of citizens towards their fellow citizens as members of a political body and to the government.
Civic education seeks to address the concerns of ordinary citizens in a country. Also, it deals with the study or the learning processes that shape and form people’s beliefs, and responses to duties and responsibilities.
However, it has no affiliations with religion or the military. But it is based on its neutrality. And it teaches a person about the relationship between individuals and their democratic governance.
The History of Civic Education
Before we delve deeper into the importance of civic education, note. Civics dates back to the earliest theories of civics by Confucius in ancient China and Plato in ancient Greece. In China, the tradition of legalism was developed.
This was a merit system that emphasized a practical unification of the power and wealth of an autocrat and the state or citizens. And this was expected to be seen when peace, security and stability were achieved.
The term was to denote a sense of honour. However, in modern times, this has evolved to the concepts of citizen’s rights, justice and ethical behaviours. And these are in public life.
Also, most of the western legal tradition has resulted in the restoration of traditional laws such as that of China which started with Lin Zexu’s translation in 1839.
How Can Civic Education Be Efficient in Nigeria?
Before delving deep into the importance of civic education, note. For civic education to be efficient, it must:
- Be realistic.
- Address the realities and truths about the nature of political life.
- Also, teach that citizens can have a part of what they want from society and engagement facilitates social change.
Importance of Civic Education: Why?
Why is civic education important in Nigeria? There are a number of reasons actually.
Successful democracies depend on active and responsive citizenship. Schools just like every other institution are meant to develop the valuable skills and characters that will, in turn, positively influence society.
Civic education was introduced into the Nigerian school curriculum to teach students about:
- What governance entails.
- The relationship between citizens and the government.
- Also, the activities of the government and how they affect the members of society.
7 Top Importance of Civic Education in Nigeria
- One of the importance of civic education is that it fosters the active involvement of citizens in the decision-making processes of the country.
- Also, civic education empowers citizens to be well informed and act based on this to prompt changes in society.
- The very essence of democracy is to equip members of society with knowledge about the constitution and democracy itself. The importance of civic education includes:
- Also, it teaches members of society ways to respond in support and protection of democracy.
- Another importance of civic education is that it helps members of society to understand their roles and responsibilities as active citizens of a country.
- Another importance of civic education is that it teaches individuals about justice and human rights
- Additionally, another importance of civic education is that it teaches about the constitutional rights of a citizen in relation to personal, economic or civil rights. These rights include security, rights over personal belongings and their bodies, individual freedom, private life and liberty.
Importance of Civic Education to Human Rights
Civic education teaches the political rights of an individual. Some of these rights are the rights to participate in government at the level of:
- Participation in politics.
- Rights to self-defence.
- Also, the right to seek legal redress.
- Rights to a fair trial.
- Responsibilities of citizens in the electoral process.
- Also, the right to vote and be voted for.
Another importance of civic education is that it teaches about the economic rights of citizens. These include:
- Rights to education.
- Also, rights to housing.
- The right to good health.
- Also, right to work.
- The right to move about freely and other basic amenities to be provided by the government.
Importance of Civic Education to Students in Nigeria
Civic education engages students in community development. And this is via what they have experienced or seen; therefore reforms can be made to misinformation.
The interdisciplinary nature of civic education makes it such a valuable tool in the training of individuals.
It teaches students about the history of the Nigerian constitution, the progress of the nation, old and new innovations, and setbacks. This knowledge informs the behaviour and responses of individuals which in turn changes society.
Students also learn how to differentiate facts from opinions online which promotes a better society through civic education.
The education of civilians in schools empowers them to organize and conduct themselves to be responsible and self-confident citizens.
Importance of Civic Education to Individuals
Another importance of civic education is that it encourages individuals to engage in research and projects. There, students investigate and address issues in their society. Interestingly, this, in turn, builds them up to be problem solvers and advocates
Also, another importance of civic education is that it promotes the understanding of democracy and individual rights or duties in the society, state or country.
Additionally, another importance of civic education is that it civic education teaches citizens to understand the laws governing a state.
Also, civic education teaches individuals to be good citizens, based on the information and without conflict
It promotes the consciousness and orientation of citizens about the government and their activities.
The above are some of the top importance of civic education. As such, it is apparent that in Nigeria we need civic education.