The Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo has highlighted that civic education has become central in shaping the future of Malawi, in that government should think of bringing back civic studies in primary school.
Mtambo was speaking when he had a virtual discussion with some Malawians living in diaspora on Thursday evening at an event organised by Citizen for Transformation Movement (CFT) Diaspora Chapter.
When asked about what his ministry has done so far and which areas will be instrumental for the success of national unity, Minister Mtambo said so far, his ministry has finalised the civic education policy framework which will be a blueprint of the activities that the ministry will embark on.
He also revealed that government had a National Peace Policy, which has been continued and will be used to anchor the National Unity part of his ministry.
In pointing out areas that he has got involved in since his appointment as the Minister and the establishment of this new ministry , Mtambo said issues of Covid-19 has taken a centre stage as the virus pandemic has hit Malawi hard.
“My ministry has quickly got involved in civic educating people about this pandemic which is threatening the lives of Many Malawians . There has also been work on gender-based policy issues such as teenage pregnancies and we are also working on Climate change issues,” said Mtambo.
He highlighted that the ministry is engaging with other ministries and various stakeholders citing the example of the recent training of community radios on how to disseminate Covid-19 messages which was done alongside National Initiative for Civic education (NICE) Trust.
Speaking on the challenges of promoting unity in the country, Mtambo said Malawi has taken so long in recognizing unity as a strong component of the country’s development.
He gave an example that if politicians are united, their supporters will be united which in the end benefits the development agenda of the country.
Mtambo mentioned that triggers of disunity need to be turned into connectors, whereby things that can divide Malawians should be used to unite the country.
The minister gave an example of Politicization of Cultural heritage groups as one trigger that if used right can promote unity of the country.
“Rather than have Mulhakho Wa Alomwe, Gonamapuhanya, Chiwanja Cha Ayawo and others do their things separately, why not have a single day which can be dubbed a cultural festival and let Malawians come and celebrate together. With that, not only will each heritage celebrate their culture, but we will celebrate together as Malawians and increase our bond as one nation called Malawi,” he said.
Mtambo spoke highly of the promotion of Malawi values, citing that no one in the country should be discriminated based on religious differences, regional or tribal differences.
“If we believe in the constitution then we cannot discriminate each other as the constitution doesn’t discriminate,” he said.
The Minister also announced that he will be working on what he described as a “ Respect the flag campaign” which will be aimed at making Malawians feel proud of their country , their identity and bringing sense of patriotism and allegiance to the flag,
It is at this point that Mtambo said he felt the civics education that was in the curriculum during Kamuzu Banda regime made a great contribution in teaching young people about their country, what the flag meant and helped inject a sense of identity as Malawians.
He then revealed that his ministry will propose that Civic education be brought back in the curriculum and should be called “Civic and Citizenship Studies” to cover a broad aspect In order to sow seeds of national unity ,sense of belonging as Malawians and for the implementation of a transformative civic education which is a mindset and behaviour change for Malawians.
Also speaking at the event, CFT diaspora leader Linda Khembo , thanked the Minister for making himself available to answer a few questions from Malawians in the diaspora , who despite being far from home , are still very much interested to be part of the policy changes and implementation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :