Government has set October 2020 for the launch of Malawi National Civic Education Policy, a document that will coordinate and harmonise all civic education activities.
Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo said this in an interview in Lilongwe yesterday on the sidelines of the launch of a Covid-19 campaign targeting parents, learners and teachers.
He said in the absence of the policy, it was difficult to coordinate civic education activities, leading to duplication and inconsistencies in implementation of civic education programmes.
Said the minister: “The launch has different clauses that direct the coordination of activities. For example, we won’t have scenarios where different stakeholders come up with contradicting messages on one thematic area.”
Mtambo added that the policy clearly stipulates funding lines for civic education activities and the criteria for accrediting stakeholders to conduct a particular activity.
He acknowledged the role National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust plays in conducting civic education in the country and urged the organisation to conduct the current exercise prudently.
Nice Trust, through the ministry, is expected to conduct a nationwide Parents, Students and Teachers Engagement Campaign on Covid-19.
Said Mtambo: “Government has supported Nice with vehicles to reach every corner of the country in sensitising teachers, students and parents. This is a targeted approach considering that schools have just been reopened and we have already noticed casual use of masks by some students.”
On his part, Nice Trust executive director Ollen Mwalubunju said the organisation is always ready to conduct civic education on any subject as long as there are resources.
He said: “We have 9 000 volunteers and 64 professional civic educators across the country. We are well established and ever ready for any task.”
Mwalubunju asked the ministry and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to consider incorporating the trust into the education cluster of the National Covid-19 Committee to be fully involved in the fight against the pandemic.
Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr John Phuka said they will consider Nice Trust’s request.
“Nice Trust is a very important stakeholder. Their observation is good and the committee will consider them,” he said.
Phuka said civic education is very important now that schools and airports have resumed operations, thereby increasing the risk of further spread.