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29.01.2009 Education

Civitas-Ghana embarks on 'every day law' for students

By The Statesman
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"We are not born democrats and therefore have to learn and train our future generation on the tenets of democracy through human rights education in their tender ages,' says Samuel Amankwaa Bosompem, President of Civitas-Ghana.

Mr Bosompem made these remarks during one of the numerous human rights outreach programmes organised by Civitas-Ghana for second cycle schools in Accra.

He said the mission of Civitas-Ghana is to strengthen civic education for informed and responsible citizenship and to promote respect for human rights.

 The outreach programme seeks to encourage a culture of democratic participation, respect for human rights and the rule of law among Ghanaian youth, students in selected schools and communities in the Greater Accra region.

 In addition, the training will increase students' knowledge and understanding of basic law and human rights.

Law students and practicing lawyers willing to give back to society will be using the interactive methods of education to teach students for a period of ninety minutes to improve legal literacy and knowledge of human rights.

However, owing to limited space and resources, Mr Bosompem said the project would be implemented in only ten schools.

The outreach programme on legal education, dubbed 'Everyday Law' for students, is partnered with Street Law Incorporated of the US. The United Nations Development Programme are sponsoring the program.

According to Mr Bosompem, the mode of teaching Civitas-Ghana has adopted in their outreach programme is the Learning Pyramid technique.

This technique places more emphasis on demonstration, group discussion and practical exercise.

Civitas-Ghana is a member of Civitas International, an NGO dedicated to democracy and human rights education.

 The international organization represents the worldwide civic education movement, which brings together network organizations and individuals for the advancement of democracy and human rights through education.

Civitas-Ghana achieves its goals through a network of dynamic partnerships and collaboration with civil society groups and independent constitutional bodies with similar objectives, such as the National Commission for Civic Education, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the media.  

Mr Bosompem disclosed to The Statesman that Civitas- Ghana, in cooperation with Street Law Inc. and the U.S. State Department and the Public Affairs Section of the US embassy, implemented a Street Law Project in Ghana in 2002 to 2003.

 At the first stage of this programme, ten Ghanaian civic educators were selected to attend the West Africa Citizens Exchange study visit in Washington D.C. during the first quarter of 2002.

 Working in partnership with Civitas- Ghana, Street Law Inc supported existing civic education efforts in Ghanaian Law Schools.

The Ghanaian educators in turn trained over sixty Law students, and leaders of NGOs who implemented a pilot democracy education project in eleven Senior Secondary schools in Accra and Tema.