Citizenship education is teaching that provides the background knowledge necessary to create an ongoing tributary of new citizens participating and engaging with the creation of a civilized society. For some students entering into a different society, citizenship education is much more rigorous than the education provided to native residents.

Citizenship education can also be seen as educating children, from early childhood, to become clear thinking and enlightened citizens who participate in decisions concerning society.

Society is here understood in the special sense of a nation with a circumscribed territory which is recognized as a state. Knowledge of the nation’s institutions, and also an awareness that the rule of law applies to social and human relationships, obviously form part of any citizenship education course.

Citizenship education is based on the distinction between:

a.       The individual as a subject of ethics and law, entitled to all the rights inherent in the human condition (human rights)

b.          The citizen entitled to the civil and political rights recognized by the national constitution of the country concerned.

All human beings are both individuals and citizens of the society to which they belong. Therefore, human rights and citizen rights are interdependent. Men, women and children all come into the world as individual human beings. Thanks to the immense historical conquest of human rights, we are equal, in rights and dignity, to all other human beings.

When citizenship education has the purpose of humanizing future citizens, it must necessarily address children, young people and adults, who are living beings, having the status of human beings endowed with conscience and reason.

Therefore, it can be excluded consideration that individuals as subjects, each with individual characteristics. Moreover, human rights include civil and political rights, the latter obviously relating to the rights and obligations of citizens. Thus a comprehensive human rights education takes account of citizenship, and considers that good citizenship is connected with human rights as a whole.

Conversely, citizenship education which trains good citizens, that is citizens aware of the human and political issues at stake in their society or nation, requires from each citizen ethical and moral qualities. All forms of citizenship education inculcate (or aim at inculcating) respect for others and recognition of the equality of all human beings; and at combating all forms of discrimination (racist, gender-based, religious, etc.) by fostering a spirit of tolerance and peace among human beings. Thus, when we speak of the purposes to be ascribed to either citizenship education (producing citizens with moral qualities) or human rights education (comprising knowledge of the social and political rights of all human beings, and their recognition) we inevitably end up with the complementary between citizenship and human rights. Depending on the cultural traditions of each education system, in some cases, civics education, comprising knowledge of human rights and their exercise, and in others, human rights education, stressing civil and political rights as the basis of citizenship, and hence the national features assumed by these rights and guaranteed by states. Bearing in mind this complementary, citizenship education means not only educating citizens but also training children for adulthood and citizenship.

Goals of Citizenship Education

The main goal of citizenship education is to enlighten citizen who possesses the necessary minimum knowledge about the mechanism of democracy. This citizen should also be convinced of the values and advantages of a democratic life, has the qualities of an independent, critical-minded person.

Political Equality: Political equality is understood as equality of opportunity to achieve the goals. The result of political aspirations will still be different depending on individual abilities and inclinations. Social equality speaks of the absence of the classes and privileges in society.

Sociological Knowledge: Students can understand the structure of society, its norms and values, problems of social development. It also allows us to understand our place in the society, the complexities of social relations, family, education, culture, and age and gender differentiation.

Historical knowledge: Knowledge of history helps to understand the present and plan the future.

Common Good: Obligation to contribute to the common good is one of the fundamental principles of citizenship education. The concept of the common good means that the political community has some set of values. These values and interests are significant for all members of the community.

Freedom: It’s one of the strongest human desires. Having freedom, a person implement plans, makes independent choice of life goals and choice of ways to achieve them.

Truth: Citizens need to know what is happening in the state they create. They have the right to demand from officials an account of their activities, their money spent, decisions taken.

Political Knowledge: It helps to understand the functioning mechanism of modern democracy.

Rights to knowledge: It gives an idea of the fundamentals of the constitutional system, as well as rights and freedoms specified in the constitution.

Importance of Citizenship Education

Importance of Citizenship Education

Citizenship education Helps in the formation of civic competencies. It allows a citizen to effectively cope with the social role, specified for citizens of that country. It helps citizens to fully use their civil rights and civil freedoms. There are many reasons why citizenship education important. However, below are some of the reasons why citizenship education is important:

1.       Allowing Citizens to Contribute for Common Good

Citizenship education gives citizens the rights to contributing to the common good of their countries. Contributing outstandingly to the common good of one’s country is one of the key principles and the fundamentals of citizenship education. What then is the concept of the common good? The concept of the common good simply means that any political society has a different set of values, and these sets of values are quite significant for every member of society.

2.       Knowing of the Fundamental Human Rights

Every citizen of a country supposed to have the right to knowledge. The knowledge of the constitution or the constitutional system of that country. In other words, it is the citizenship education that gives citizens of a country the very idea of the fundamentals of their individual constitutional system, which they operate in their nations. It also allowed for the citizens’ rights and the freedoms as specified in the constitution of their nations.

 3        knowing the System of Government operating in the State 

The key reason why we study citizenship education is the teaching and the importation of the citizens with the necessary knowledge about the mechanism of the system of government operation in the country. The citizen of this country has the rights to be convinced of the values and also the advantages of democracy. They also through citizenship education have the qualities of being independent and being critically minded citizens.

4.       Knowing the Societal Arrangement

Citizens have the rights to know and understand the structure of their society. They have the rights to know and understand their norms and their values, as well as, the very problems of social development, and this is made possible through citizenship education. It also allows the citizens to know and understand their place in the society, including the complexities of social relations, and family, and education, and culture, as well as, age and also gender differentiation.

5.       Knowing the Societal Past

One will agree with me that, knowledge of history is essential and necessary for the citizens of a country. Knowledge of history actually helps the citizens of a country to know and understand the present so as to be able to plan for the future. In the process of citizenship education, a citizen can obtain some knowledge, and as a result, form some value preferences, which can make him acquire certain personal qualities. The knowledge, of course, can also help the citizens of a country to develop civic skills of thinking and that of their behavior.

6.       Knowing Fairness among Citizens

Political equality simply understands the equality of opportunity that citizens of a country have in order to achieve their individual goals. The outcome of citizens’ political aspirations will always remain quite different, pending on citizen’s abilities and their individual inclinations. Social and political equality usually speaks of the very absence of the social and political classes in the society, as well as, privileges in one’s society.

6.       Knowing the Reality about Nationality

True is important and necessary in any democratic society. Citizens of a country ought to know about the happenings in their individual society, which they create. As democratic citizens of a society, they have the constitutional right to demanding from public officials an account of their actions, and how they, the officials spent their money and the decisions they have taken to better the lots of the members of the public.

7.       Being Civil Competencies

Citizenship education helps in the formation of civic competencies. The education allows a citizen to effectively cope with the social role, specified for citizens of that country. It helps citizens to fully use their civil rights and civil freedoms. Actually, the objectives of citizenship education are great. The learning about democracy has a very essential object, to educating a responsible citizen and critically thinking citizen.The citizens of a country should be willing to communicate with the fellow citizens, as well as, participate effectively in every affair of their state. The importance of citizenship and its objectives, no doubt, is in freedom and also in responsible decisions.

8.       Bringing Freedom Consciousness among Citizens

Freedom is among the reasons why we study citizenship education, and is one of the very strongest and desired human needs. Having freedom means that, a citizen can implement his plans, and makes independent choice of life decisions, as well as making a choice of ways to achieve those goals.

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