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69.7 per cent of respondents voted in favour of an increase in the quota of women appointed into the District Assemblies from the current 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

 A survey conducted by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to assess the effectiveness of District Assemblies has revealed that the participation of women in the process is still a key challenge.

According to the survey, 69.7 per cent of respondents voted in favour of an increase in the quota of women appointed into the District Assemblies from the current 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

 In 1998, government directed that 30 per cent of the appointed membership of the District Assemblies should be reserved for women and further increased the female appointed membership to 50 per cent in 2002.

 The survey was to assess the effectiveness and partisan neutrality of the District Assembly; assess general public’s awareness of the roles, functions of the District Assemblies; assess public perception of the role of chiefs and Traditional Authorities in the work of the District Assembly; and determine public views on the participation of women in the district Assembly’s activities.

 It is also to ascertain the knowledge of the public about their role in ensuring accountability and probity of the District Assembly; find ways of strengthening citizen’s participation in the developmental planning and budgeting processes of the District Assembly, as well as find ways to improve the work of the District Assembly.

 In all, about 3,000 respondents were sampled based on their financial, time and other resources constraints from 72 districts out of 216 sampling frame in all the 10 regions.

 On the election of Metropolitan, Municipal andDistrict Chief Executives (MMDCEs), 25.3 per cent of respondents agreed that electing MMDCEs is the surest way of improving on the effectiveness of the district assembly’s work.

 About 19.5 per cent also believed that by eschewing corruption, the district assemblies would enhance the effectiveness of their work.Respondents also called for transparency in the disbursement and    distribution  of the Common Fund to further enhance effectiveness in the assemblies.

Launching the survey, Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, admitted that democracy and decentralization has come to stay and stressed the need to give the district assemblies the necessary support and logistics to function well.

He said the district assembly elections will take place on September 1, and urged the public to go out in their numbers to elect their representatives and help strengthen democracy at the grassroots.

 “District Assemblies are established to give the true meaning to Ghana’s democracy,” he said, and commended the NCCE for their efforts to increase awareness of local governance among the populace.   

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, Lecturer, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), reiterated the need to look at cultural barriers prohibiting women from availing themselves for local governance elections and tackle the issue from there.

He said the solution does not lie in increasing the quota of women representation because if that is done and still the women are not coming forward for elections the problem will still be there.

He stressed the need for  men to accept women participation in local governance by not contesting them.Prof Ahwoi also called for a comprehensive survey on local governance to ascertain what actually pertains on the ground.

Mr Kyei Baffour, former President of National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), reiterated the need to build the capacity of women so that when they are elected they would be able to deliver and function well.

He said he had a problem with the way gender advocates are going about their campaign of affirmative action and urged them to rather raise awareness on the need for people to accept the fact that women participation in the local governance is vital and needed to be encouraged.

GNA

The electorate have been advised to desist from selling their voter rights to politicians ahead of the district level and the 2016 general elections.They have further been asked to vote with their conscience for candidates that offer the best possibility to improve their standard of living.


The call was made at a workshop organised by the Western Regional Directorate of the Electoral Commission (EC), which was supported by the European Union (EU). It was on the theme, “Enhancing Participation and Stakeholder Confidence in Ghana\'s Election Process.”

According to them, vote buying politicians were those who had introduced black magic into the electoral process by compelling voters to swear to deities.

Participants pointed out that those who influenced voters through such unorthodox and crooked methods did not deserve to represent them either at the assembly or Parliament.

Similarly, they tasked officials of EC at the polling stations to be neutral in the discharge of their duties.

It was also suggested that the media and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) should be resourced enough to enable them to educate the voting public on the electoral law and processes.

The Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mr Stephen Opoku-Mensah, tasked stakeholders, the media and the NCCE to assist the Commission to conduct credible, free and fair elections in the country.

Mr Opoku-Mensah appreciated the contribution of the media to the success of previous elections and implored them to continue sensitising the electorate to the electoral law and its attendant procedures.

Sunday, 09 August 2015 22:20
By Daily Graphic

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has condemned the partisan politics that has crept into national exercises, especially the district assembly elections.


 According to the Ashanti regional director of the NCCE, Alhassan Yakubu, this attitude is unhealthy for the promotion of civic responsibility and education in Ghana.

His concerns follow the low turn-out that has characterized several elections and national exercises in previous times.

“One of the contributory factors to the low turn-out is the fact that the district level elections is non-partisan, but Ghanaians have grown so partisan such that anything, that is not going to be partisan they don’t give it attention. It is not everything that is politics.

“We should be able to make our own conscious mind to do what is right and what is constitutional. Voting is your civic right so if you don’t go out to vote, then you are reneging on your right,” Yakubu told Ultimate Breakfast’s Prince Minkah.

Yakubu is, however, optimistic there will be a high voter turn-out in the upcoming district level elections slated for September 1, 2015.

He said NCCE, despite its logistical constraints, is doing more to influence public participation in the upcoming assembly elections.

The district level elections a couple of months ago was cancelled when the Electoral Commission was hurled to court by an aspirant over the interpretation of the provisions of Article 75.

 

Speaking at the La-Nkwantanang Cluster of Schools in Madina, the resource person, Mr. Francis Normanyo, a lecturer from the Dominion University, said discipline bad broken down in schools, and that it was the duty of the NCCE to visit schools to educate the pupils and students on Disciplined Citizenship.


Mr. Normanyo said whoever failed to obey laid down regulations, was indiscipline.He gave examples as going to school late, littering school compound with unwanted materials, not doing one’s homework, stealing and pilfering, disrespect for teachers, colleagues and the elderly in society, impregnating females in the schools, and urinating indiscriminately.

The others, he said, were attending nature’s call anywhere, cheating, smoking of indian hemp/Cigarettes, dressing by exposing certain features of the body.
Mr. Normanyo pointed out that those who lived to become good citizens normally faced a barrage of challenges, and therefore appealed to the students to be bold and resolve whatever challenges they may face.He also warned students not to shun their parents whenever they rebuked them for wrongdoings but to approach them tactfully and respectfully.

He advised the students to lead morally good lives, in order to grow into responsible adults for the betterment of our country.The Deputy Chairman of Programmes of NCCE, Mr. Samuel Akuamoah, also spoke on discipline to other students’ gathering. In an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) said there were about 40 schools under the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly that would be covered in the exercise within the period.

Mr Akuamoah donated boxes of biscuits and drinks to the schools which was sponsored by LaNMMA.Plastic bangles with the inscription “Be disciplined” and ” Arise and Shine for Ghana” were also distributed to the students.
GNA
May 27, 2015

The Director of NCCE in-charge of Programmes, Samuel Akuamoah Boateng, says the commission is embarking on public sensitisation to whip up the interest of the public to actively participate in the upcoming district Assembly elections.


Speaking to Radio Ghana, Mr Akuamoah Boateng said the commission has adopted community and group engagement approach to carry out their message.

The District Assembly election is a non-partisan, grassroots decision-making process to choose representatives and unit committee members in all Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies across the country.


School children in basic and second cycle schools in the Upper East Region have been trained to co-exist peacefully at the school and community levels.


As part of measures to execute this task successfully, UNICEF in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) have developed a manual as guide to empower patrons and patroness of civic clubs to instil in the pupils the concept.

The Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Edward Ayagle Speaking at a training workshop which also sought to get inputs from the participants to review the manual, he indicated that the project will help address the few pockets of conflicts in parts of the region, which he said is hindering development.

He said if the students are taught at their tender age about the need to co-exist peacefully, such conflicts could be avoided.

Mr Pontius Pilate Apaabey, Regional Director of NCCE, said the manual which contains 10 thematic areas and 30 sections has developed methodology for the patrons and patroness to instil in the young people self-esteem to express their views and opinions without fear or intimidation.

He said after pre-testing the manual, it would be developed into a final document to be adopted by schools across the country.

Mr Gomez Adongo, Municipal Director of NCCE said the project is similar to \\\"Citizens Project\\\", initiated by NCCE.

Ms Sadia B. Sampanah, a Programme Officer at the Commission confirmed the importance of the project and said it would help build the capacity of the girl-child with skills to speak boldly in public.

\\\"One of the major problems confronting women aspiring for leadership positions particularly in politics is timidity. This project will help address the problem by building their capacities in public speaking\\\", she stated.

Mr Samuel Akolgo, a Senior Civic Education Officer, asked teachers to see themselves as facilitators by ensuring that they give equal playing field to students without discrimination.

He urged them to create the atmosphere for effective participation and provide the framework for the children to think critically.

About 38 patrons and patroness attended the training programme.

The NCCE organised a similar programme in Bawku which attracted 18 participants including five community patrons.

Students and teachers in Central River Region have been trained on formation of civic education clubs in schools to broaden and deepen their knowledge of civic rights and responsibilities


The May 16-17 training for participants from Kaur, Jangjangbureh and Fulla Bantang upper basic schools is part of a nationwide activity funded by the UN Development Programme.
National Council for Civic Education, NCCE, has stated students will be taught to realize their roles as future leaders and in consolidating Gambia’s democratic system through civic clubs, and to ensure active participation in Gambia’s socio-political process.
The civic clubs are meant to study, analyse and discuss the content of the constitution and to develop a practical commitment to social justice, democracy and equality, according to the Council.
“This exercise is aimed at nurturing a culture of democratic citizenship among young school goers,” Junkung K. Saidy, a senior civic education officer at NCCE, said on Friday at the CRR forestry department in JangJangbureh.
“This training will help enhance the capacity of teachers and students on civic awareness, democracy and human rights as per the 1997 Constitution and increase their participation in the governance process of the country.”
Civic education is learning for effective participation in democratic and development processes at local and national levels.
Ansumana Yabou, a civic education supervisor at NCCE, said civic education facilitates the active involvement of citizens in their own governance by enabling them to take informed decisions.
“It also promotes seasoned commitment to the rule of law and fair play, and facilitates the understanding and acceptance of rights and responsibilities,” Mr Yabou said.
Kajali Janneh, a senior education officer in CRR, said students and teachers are expected to keep alive civic education activities in their schools.
“You are expected to create vibrant clubs. That is why NCCE came up with the idea of establishing civic education clubs in schools,” added Janneh of regional educational directorate. “Civic education is a key area in human development.”
Musa Baldeh, a student of St. Therese’s Upper Basic School at Fulla Bantang, said he will share knowledge gained from the training and work toward setting up an active civic club at his school.
“This training is very important because it will help us know a lot about our rights and responsibilities as young citizens,” he said. “I will work with my teacher and fellow students to set up the club because it is important for us to be aware of our civic rights and duties.”
This story was first published by The Standard on May 19, 2014.

The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education, Mrs Charlotte Osei, says citizens have the legal right of shaping, determining the democratic process and contributing to it not only through voting, but knowing, understanding and being able to comment on Government policies.


The Chairperson made these remarks in Accra when welcoming participants at the National Commission for Civic Education's Dialogue Series on the theme: Engage, Educate, and Empower.
The programme was to create a platform for dialogue where experts in certain areas would address issues that affect Ghana's democratic development.
She observed that Ghanaians were to quick in vilifying institutions of state which explained why Dr Afari Gyan was judged in hast after the 2012 election even though he did not work alone without understanding the issues.
According to her, NCCE decided to look at the 29th August election petition decision for the start hence, wanted a non partisan, patriotic and objective discussion, adding that that informed the choice of Dr Afari Gyan and Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe.
According to her there were more issues as much as election management were concerned hence expressed her happiness about the event.
The Chairman of the Electoral commission Dr. Afari Gyan in response to a question on what brought about the alleged rigging of the 2012 election, he said if anything might had gone wrong it happened at the polling stations and not at the EC\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Office.
He added that it was the responsibility of party agents to take keen interest in the whole election process since every Ghanaian individual has the right to vote, and votes be counted at the polling stations. He noted that if parties had issues they should have addressed them at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
According to him there was security during the printing process of election materials since every party representative were always present during the exercise.
He debunked comments that people voted without biometric verification, adding that if the EC had money they would have printed the records on the voting exercise for every Ghanaian to know who voted and at what time.
Dr Gyan suggested that pick sheets should be properly handled as part of measures to address some electoral issues.
Additionally, EC would sit with heads of political parties to take practical measures which would be favourable for all.
According to Justice Crabbe the Constitution was an important instrument which enabled a nation to do what was right, adding that every citizen should be allowed to exercise their rights.
He called on the EC to keep clean voters register to forestall any argument in the future.
There were representatives from all the political parties.
Source ISD (Raymond Kwofie)

The National Council for Civil Education (NCCE) has been promoting the principles and ideals of democracy by embarking on a series of civic educational programmes with voters, area councillors and National Assembly Members in the West Coast Region.


 
The council has recently been enlightening the people on governance, the duties of the citizen and legal rights and responsibility, constitutional guarantee of basic freedoms, among others.
Although the council has been executing its mandate it, however, deserves commendation for making the people, particularly the masses, engage in the democratization and development process of the country.
By executing its mandate, the council is providing the people with civic education - an education to equip citizens with knowledge about their rights and obligations as they are part of the society and the global community.
We are of the conviction that through such education we can enhance and promote the demand for good governance in the country.
Civic education can be used to address a wide variety of political and governance issues such as corruption, civic apathy to voting, as well as important social issues like domestic violence.
But it will be interesting if the NCCE can do a survey to find out what Gambians know, don\'t know and mistakenly believe as their civic rights and responsibilities.
The survey can make a good case for the council to lobby for more funds not only to continue with the civic education programmes, but also to do it intensively and consistently because, for sure, it will reveal the fact that most of the masses don\'t either know or are having misconceptions about their civic rights.
We also hope the NCCE is making efforts to make sure that civic education is being taught as part of the regular curriculum in primary and secondary schools in the country.
Researches have proven that by far the most widespread application of civic education is in formal school education.
However, we are not in any way trying to downplay the usefulness of the current awareness creation through focused group discussions and other informal teaching and information-sharing methods adopted by the council.
This form is very important, particularly when it comes to voter education.
As we applaud the NCCE for the good job they are doing we hope to remind them also that there is a great need for more civic engagement across the country.


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