President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo
Ministers of State
VC of the University of Ghana
Nii Me, Naa Me, Nananom
Our media partners
Students – our future
Distinguished Invited Guests.
Indulge me to begin my remarks with this quote:…
“No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.” – Kofi Annan.- an illustrious son of Ghana.
It reverberates with our theme for the Commission’s Inter-University Quiz/Debate, Restoring Our Ghanaian Values as Active Citizens, derived from our overarching theme for 2017, Restoring the Ghanaian Identity: Our Values, Our Passion.
On behalf of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), I am delighted to welcome you to the launch of our Inter-University Quiz/Debate. This launch of our activities over the next few months with the youth forms part of the Commission’s celebration of Ghana’s 60th Independence anniversary.
After 60 years of attaining independence and 25 years of adopting for ourselves the Fourth Republican Constitution which embodies our hopes and aspirations as a people, the role of the youth in shaping the destiny of this country, now more than ever should be accentuated. In the Commission’s view, this is necessary if we as Ghanaians are seriously pursuing a national transformation agenda.
Madam Chairman, a brief history of some of the Commission’s activities relevant to today’s launch is worth mentioning.
On 28th February, 2001, the Ghana Constitution Game was formally introduced as part of NCCE’s long term objective of creating an awareness of the Constitution among the citizenry and engendering a culture of civic rights and responsibilities. It was further to inculcate in the youth, the spirit of patriotism and responsible citizenship to equip them as effective leaders.
In the year 2000, the Commission introduced a televised quiz based on the knowledge of the Constitution in second cycle schools.
Three pilot tv programmes were held involving nine schools. After a review of the pilot exercise the full programme was rolled out with 27 schools drawn from the Greater Accra Region. The competition was pre-recorded between July 10 and 13, 2001 at the Teachers Hall, Accra. The final contest was among three schools – Accra New Town Experimental JSS, Kaneshie Presby JSS, and Ave Maria JSS. Accra New Town JSS emerged champions with Kaneshie Presby JSS and Ave Maria JSS taking the first and second runner up positions respectively.
GTV, then Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, commenced the telecast of the quiz series on Thursday, October 4, 2001 and this continued continued every Thursday from 5p.m. to 5.30 pm until December 27, 2001 when the series ran out. Despite the positive feedback, the program could not be sustained due to funding constraints.
The previous version of the Game made some remarkable strides. To build on these successes, the Commission on 17th December, 2013 introduced the Electronic Based quiz. The E-Quiz was intended to among others engender greater visibility and excitement around the study and teaching of the Constitution. In 2016, the maiden Regional E-Quiz Competitions were held to with 96 participating Senior High Schools across the ten regions of Ghana.
At the tertiary level and as part of activities marking the 1st Annual Constitution Week Celebration (ACWC) in the year 2001, NCCE organized an Inter-University Civic Education Club Debate Competition. Valley View University and University of Ghana emerged as winners and runners up respectively.
Our President, then Honorable Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the Inaugural Address at the Launch of the Annual Constitution Week Celebration on Saturday April 28, 2001 at the Accra International Conference Centre. He further did the Commission the honours by presenting awards to participating students.
The presence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo today is a clear testament to his ardent belief in the potential of the Ghanaian youth. (Acknowledge with rousing applause!)
It has been expounded that the birth of the idea of citizenship was for ‘the survival and the well-being of the community which would be better served if its matters were conducted by a class of individuals who due to their personal qualities and resources were valuable for the community as a whole’. Therefore, to my mind, good citizenship or being an active citizen is premised on the idea of being valuable to one’s community, and by extension to one’s country.
By introducing this Inter-University Quiz with 16 participating schools from the ten regions in Ghana culminating in a final debate, the Commission seeks to engender the mastery of the Constitution as a living document to empower the youth as young active citizens. Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution embodies the duties and obligations of all of us Ghanaian citizens. Indeed it sets the essence of good Citizenship as contributing to the wellbeing of the community where the citizen lives.
As the fundamental law of the land, understanding the Constitution and civics becomes the launchpad for the youth becoming good and active citizens.
Today, I charge the youth to apply the 4Vs of youthfulness – Vim, Verve, Vigour, and Vitality …to actively live positive values that foster nation-building.
Madam Chairman, a few months ago, the President received the Commission into the Flagstaff House where he assured us of his commitment to supporting the work of the Commission. His presence today attests to that commitment. I crave your indulgence to address His Excellency. Mr. President, in the face of severe logistical constraints, our dedicated staff across the 216 district offices, 10 regional offices, and the head office continue to perform their duties diligently. If we envision a future of the phenomenal transformation of our country, then Active Citizenship through Civic Education cannot be ignored. On this premise, I urge the government to provide the NCCE with the crucial logistics we require to deliver effectively on our mandate.
While NCCE continues to execute its mandate, we must begin to teach our positive Ghanaian values as part of our national orientation. If we can agree that these values underpin our national development, then we must also agree to systematically make them a part of the learning experience that supports youth development as socially responsible citizens who can significantly contribute to our national transformation.
Madam Chairman, the Commission acknowledges the presence of all its media partners. We are mindful of the crucial role the media has to play in making this Inter-University Quiz/Debate a success. The Commission extends its hand for stronger media collaboration as key stakeholders in this quest.
I would like to appreciate all the hardworking staff of the Commission, who in spite of the odds, go the extra mile to fulfil our mandate.
Today, in a country where our airwaves are rife with allegations of mass corruption and environmental degradation with impunity, I charge the youth to rise as responsible citizens. We can tell the future of our country by the heroes that we look up to Today, may every young Ghanaian be that active citizen, that hero so that we can envision a beautiful tomorrow for Ghana. We cannot and must not forget what Benjamin Disraeli said that ‘the youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity’.
On this note, I warmly welcome you to the NCCE’s launch of the inter-university quiz/debate.