The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) joins the world today in celebrating the International Day of Tolerance. This year’s celebration is under the theme “Tolerance Is Respect and Acceptance and Appreciation of The Rich Diversity of Our World’s Cultures, Our Forms of Expression and Ways of Being Human”.

The Day established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has been celebrated every year on the 16th day of November since 1996 to denounce intolerance, build tolerance among cultures and promote mutual respect and understanding between people of different cultures.

Tolerance as defined by the United Nations (UN) is respect, appreciation and acceptance of the diversity of world’s cultures that we are human, and therefore, we must live in harmony with one another. Tolerance is a key component in maintaining peace and stability in different sections of society with different belief systems coexisting in a nation. The need for tolerance therefore is not a choice but a duty that all citizens must adhere to when interacting with people of other cultures.

The International Day of Tolerance creates awareness of the dangers of intolerance. This Day resonates with the mandate of the NCCE in its quest to promoting diversity and social inclusion as a pre-requite to sustaining Ghana's democracy. Thus, the Commission as part of its education and sensitization activities over the years re-echoes the message of tolerance and the need for Ghanaians to reflect, imbibe and practise peaceful coexistence. This value is etched in Article 35 (9) of the 1992 constitution and states that "the state shall promote among the people of Ghana the culture of political tolerance".

Intolerance in our society may stem from perceived threat, distrust, secularism, religious fanaticism, tribalism and ethnic based discrimination. These factors when unchecked can over time spill from intolerance to chaos within our society. In Ghana, intolerance has manifested in political, chieftaincy, ethnic, religious differences among others which sometimes resulted in clashes, destruction of property and loss of countless lives.

Fostering and building tolerance is the duty of all and sundry. We are all enjoined to inculcate the habit of tolerance, forbearance, calmness, respect for divergent views and appreciation of diversity in our culture wherever we find ourselves. This is an absolute requirement for peace and unity to thrive in our nation and the global front for the good of all.

Happy International Tolerance Day!

    Leave a comment