Dr. Elizabeth Gomani Chindebvu, Principal Secretary of Malawi’s Ministry of National Unity, hailed the Ghana National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), describing it as the best civic education institution on the continent.
Dr Chindebvu received praise as she led a four-member delegation to interact with NCCE officials in Accra on Wednesday.
The meeting was part of the delegation’s three-day working visit to Ghana, during which it reviewed the country’s progress and achievements in civic education.
Dr Chindebvu was accompanied by Mr Dalitso Chikwembani, Director of Civic Education, and Ms Evelyn Sumani, Senior Civic Education Officer, both from the Department of Civic Education, and Mr Derex Souza, Senior Program Officer, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust.
She said that the NCCE was the most relevant institution for civic education in Africa.
“We consider this institution to be the best in Africa in terms of civic education. When we started looking for where to go, in Africa, the only one we found relevant was the NCCE in Ghana,” she said.
Explaining the mission of the delegation, Dr Chindebvu said that as part of Malawi’s public sector service reforms, the ministry was lobbying the government to transform the NICE Trust into a National Commission for civic education.
Accordingly, it was only fitting for the ministry to study other countries on the continent, which had successfully implemented such a policy, to learn their best practices, she said.
Dr Chindebvu said that with Ghana’s decades of experience in active civic engagement, the government of Malawi believed that its civic education structure was the best on the continent and worth emulating.
Areas the delegation seeks to explore include the establishment process and legal framework of the NCCE, core functions, mandate, vision and mission, delivery methods and approaches.
She expressed hope that the study would help the Ministry transform the NICE Trust into a commission.
Ms. Kathleen Addy, Acting Chairperson of the NCCE, said the Commission was one of three unique commissions established under the 1992 Constitution, the others being the Electoral Commission and the Human Rights and administrative justice and, to some extent, the National Media Commission. Commission.
“These three commissions are unique in that they are independent, that is, they do not receive instructions or direction from the executive,” she said.
“We, the NCCE, report to Parliament, not the executive. We are publicly funded, but our line of accountability is to Parliament, that is, to the representatives of the people.
Ms. Addy stressed the need for a top-down approach to policy formulation, saying that the effectiveness of any civic education policy largely depends on its grassroots acceptance.
Mr. Samuel Asare Akuamoah, NCCE Vice President in charge of Operations, said that despite the successes achieved by the Commission since its inception, it still faces many challenges.
These include inadequate funding, its overlapping public tenure, and the continued appointment of presidents by the executive.
Mr Akuamoah therefore advised Malawians to beware of political interference in the work of the potential commission, as this would undermine its authority and cause it to lose its relevance.
Mr. Kojo Tito Voegborlo, Secretary of the NCCE, encouraged Malawians to prioritize collaboration between the commission and relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and student leadership groups, in order to ensure effective civic work.
Malawi becomes the second country in Africa to study Ghana’s civic education structure, following Gambia in 2019.