The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the European Union, (EU) organised a day’s advocacy workshop for media practitioners from the northern Zone.
The workshop which aimed at grooming selected journalist to understand the mandate of the NCCE and to empower them to give adequate publicity to activities and programmes of the Commission took place at Yegoala Hotel, in the Ashanti regional capital on Tuesday 19 June 2018.
In her opening statement under the theme: “Strengthening Civic Consciousness through Media Advocacy,” NCCE Boss, Ms. Josephine Nkrumah said it beholds on the NCCE and the Media to build synergy in creating awareness and upholding the principles and objectives of the constitution.
She said that anything failing would mean that the two (NCCE and the Media) have failed the people of Ghana; hence there is the need for them to be conscious of their roles in civic education.
“It is a shared responsibility for one to understand that we are mandated by law, it is our calling to provide that education and creating that awareness, the principles and upholding these principles and objectives. If we do not do that then the yearning that we all have for a better Ghana cannot be achieved, “she stressed.
The NCCE Boss called on the media to help educate the citizenry to know and understand their civic responsibilities, saying , “until the citizenry understand that it is their right to have good health care facilities, then they will not agitate or advocate for that, “”
“If the citizenry don’t know that it is their taxes that develop the country, they would not pay their taxes. The citizenry must understand that it is not an option but it is their obligation under law that they should pay their taxes and it has consequences,” she added.
On his part, Private Legal Practitioner and host of Joy FM’s News File, a Current Affairs Programme, Mr. Samson Anyenini said that the job that has been handed to the NCCE is the media’s major role in ensuring that we have a society where democracy is sustained and that everybody will know their responsibilities and their duties to have respect for the rule of law.
However, he said that the media as the 4th estate of government has failed woefully in helping the citizenry on their civic rights and also uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people of Ghana.
“In our programs we should be able to at least dedicate a minute to share something about civic duties and responsibilities. But if all we do is to follow the siliceous news ,which dog is biting which one, which politician has threatened to fight the other ,we are not doing our jobs, we are failing big time in that regard,” he added.
He opined that the over emphasis on partisan political discussions will not help this country, instead the citizenry must be educated on their civic rights and responsibilities and by so doing it would create awareness to the populace.
“Article 233[a]of the constitution says that the NCCE job, among others is to create awareness about functions and objectives of the country. The media ought to assist the NCCE to execute this mandate well. When that happens we will live in a country where we will be happy, otherwise our democracy survives on the NCCE doing its work well,” he said.
Mr. Samson Lardy Anyenini added that, politicians are not interested in having a very well educated constituents because they will question them as they will know that they have a duty imposed in them in article 41 (F) that they should expose and combat corruptions and misuse of public properties and resources they will stand up to them.
He appealed to the media to educate the citizenry to know that littering on the streets is a crime and it is a punishable offence. “We have the society that does not know that littering among other things are environmental hazards that threatens the future of the country,” he said.
The Ashanti regional Director of NCCE also noted that NCCE, which was spawned by the 1992 Constitution in Article 231 and legalized by parliamentary Act 452, has for the past 25 years contributed immensely to the natural and inalienable right to establish a democratic government to secure for the populace and posterity the blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity, friendship and peace with all the people of the world and commitment to freedom, justice, probity and accountability.
He said that the media for the past rubbed shoulder to shoulder with NCCE to continue to first make Ghanaians live in dignity as true human beings as the 1992 constitution and the United Nation Bill of right espouse.
However, he admonished the Media not to permit any institution to use them for any propaganda that can be divisive or create a situation for natural disaster.