Citizenship education and its relevance to Zimbabwe
Keywords:Citizenship, Education, Citizenship education
Informal education systems in the traditional African systems were aimed at, among other things, passing on cultural values, norms and knowledge skills from one generation to the next. In addition, the youth were taught to preserve their cultural identity. Owing to fundamental shifts in classical family systems and educational practices in Africa, countries such as Zimbabwe have come to recognise the need for including societal values and norms, ethics, morals and responsibilities in thewhole school curricula in order to inculcate value systems and maintain the national legacy and cultural heritage. One strategy for achieving the desired cultural ethos is implementing a deliberate Citizenship Education programme which should be incorporated into the formal education system. Citizenship Education could also be inculcated through extra curricula activities such as sport.Besides the transmission of the cultural norms and values, Citizenship Education should incorporate humanitarian issues such as inclusion of people with disabilities in social processes. In the same vein, the Citizenship Education programme should be flexible to cater for the needs of learners with special needs. This paper explores the relevance of Citizenship Education to the prevailing Zimbabwean situation. In the long term, Citizenship Education has the capacity to improve the socio-political and economic advancement of a country. The paper concludes that Citizenship Education is relevant to the Zimbabwean situation, despite that it has been heavily politicised and has, in some cases, lost its original intention. In the long term, the programme has a propensity to improve the socio-political and economic conditions of the country. De-politicisation of Citizenship Education could be the first step towards re-aligning it to the intended national ethos and ideals. This should be policy driven.The programme should endeavour to inculcate values and norms that facilitate nation building and should not be used for partisan political orientation.
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