Mrs. Fanny Judith Kumah, Project Co Director of Project Citizen Ghana, an Interdisciplinary Civic Education Programme, on Thursday appealed to the electorate and leaders of political parties to strive and make this year's election peaceful and violence-free.
"It is the aim of Project Citizen Ghana to train the youth to develop democratic dispensations like tolerance, patriotism, self respect, respect for others and encourage the exercise of fundamental rights and responsibility with commitment and confidence that would promote free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections at all levels and also encourage the adult population to emulate the same"
Speaking at the Project Citizen Teacher Training Workshop, Mrs. Kumah urged political parties to abide by their code of conduct to ensure that there is no acrimony or violence before during and after the elections.
Project Citizen Ghana is administered in Ghana by the National Commission for Civic education (NCCE), CIVITAS Ghana and Centre for Civic Education, USA.
It was started in 20 Junior and Senior high schools in the Greater Accra and Northern regions in 2006 on pilot basis and is now being implemented in 111 schools in eight regions
She said the students learn to interact through a process that involves identifying a problem in their community that requires a public policy solution, gathering information on the selected problem, examining and evaluating alternative solutions, developing a proposed public policy to address the problem, creating an action plan to get the policy adopted by government and reflecting on the learning experience.
"One of the purposes of project citizen is the development of fully participating. Competent and responsible citizens especially the youth, with a reasoned commitment to the fundamental values and constitutional democracy," she said.
Mrs. Kumah urged Ghanaian students to research independently, appreciate the importance of teamwork and originality, defend decisions made, fulfil responsibilities as active participants in society, learn and exercise the rights of citizens in a democratic society, understand the procedures of government as well as monitor and influence public policy.
"Project Citizen's goal of developing intellectual and participatory skills that promote reasoned investigation, critical thinking, effective communication and reflective thinking would effectively equip them to vote on issues in their respective school elections and impart same to their parents and colleagues.
A report issued at the end of the workshop identified some of the challenges facing Project Citizens Ghana as adequate funding on sustainable basis, commitment of teachers and NCCE monitors, teacher turn over and lack of pre-service training for teachers.