Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Patricia Kaliati has underscored the need for people to be empowered with knowledge to enable them to participate fully and responsibly in the country’s socio-economic development.
She was speaking on Thursday in Blantyre at Alendo Hotel during the official opening of a stakeholders meeting aimed at soliciting ideas from specialists and experts in communication, education, culture and community development on strategic areas that require civic education.
Kaliati observed that lack of civic education results to people not demanding their rights or holding office bearers accountable of the activities they are implementing.
The Minister said there are numerous issues such as; climate change, HIV/AIDS, harmful cultural practices and population growth that Malawians need to be sensitized on in order for them to make informed choices.
“Even programmes and projects such as social cash transfers, food for work and early childhood development require on-going civic education so that people demand their rights and hold office bearers accountable,” Kaliati said.
The Minister indicated that the meeting would provide viable and effective collaborative strategies for the implementation of civic education programmes and activities to meet peoples’ expectations.
“I am optimistic that the gathering will put forward key priority areas and best possible ways of addressing them to the satisfaction of the country’s citizens,” she explained.
Meanwhile, the Ministry, with financial support from European Union is developing a National Civic Education Policy to guide civic education activities and also foster effective collaboration with civic education stakeholders.
The Policy is expected to be completed early next year for stakeholder validation and cabinet approval, according to the ministry’s principal secretary Dr Esme Kainja.