The Citizen Handbook
What is Civic Education?
What is Civic Education
The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 promotes public participation at all levels of governance. This participation is only possible when the public is educated on issues affecting their lives and how to influence the relevant decision-makers of such issues. In this regard, civic education is a critical tool for enhancing public participation. Civic education, for example, informs community members of government development plans and their contribution to ensure the implementation of the plan is successful. Moreover, civic education helps citizens challenge the necessity or legitimacy of specific government policies and actions. Citizens can better contribute to the development of their country when they know how their government works and how to support issues important to them.
Some examples of civic education include:
- attending a public forum organized by local leaders to understand how local elected officials make decisions on community issues;
- participating in a discussion on a government policy affecting the community (e.g. the introduction of new laws on waste management, proper usage of water, etc.); and
- educating the community about a proposed public or private development in their area and the potential impact this may have