Active Citizenship

Citizenship education through fun and games

According to UNESCO, the idea of ‘citizenship’ is said to be as old as settled human communities. Indeed, the English word ‘citizen’, like the French word ‘citoyen’ is based on the Latin word ‘civitas’, which means “people united in a city or community”. Indeed, citizenship has its roots in the idea of active participation in the local community.

Watch this beautiful video by UNESCO before reading on.

In the school environment, games are a fantastic way to create this participation organically. Children, instead of shying away from boring civics textbooks, will be energetic, take initiatives and understand a concept well and fully. Here are some activities and ideas that educators can use in classrooms, or parents can recommend in their neighbourhood or children’s schools.

1. Strategic Questioning: This is a technique for planning how to be an active citizen about these issues. Use these questions involved in strategic questioning to investigate the most serious issue in your community. Convert these into debates or a poster making contest. Make these as points in your upcoming student council elections.

• Identify five issues that affect the quality of life and environmental conditions in your home (or school) community.

• Rank these issues in order of their likely impact on achieving a sustainable future. • Weighting the issues: Your community has many resources to help overcome the problems posed by these issues. Assume that these resources all add up to 100 units. How many units would you allocate to working on each of these issues?

2. Acting Locally Student participation in local action projects, perhaps in partnership with a NGO, is a key way of teaching citizenship skills. You can encourage your children to participate in a project with an NGO in your area. Keep these questions in mind for the same! Ten important steps in planning a local action campaign with students include: • Identify issues and goal(s)

• Identify your target audience

• Recruit supporters • Recognise student interests

• Analyse the situation

• Build a coalition

• Keep members happy

• Choose strategies and tactics

• Media exposure

• Evaluate your efforts

3. Reflection Reflection, i.e. looking back, is key. Encourage children to reflect on these activities, see what they have learnt and present it to others through various artistic mediums, such as dance, drama, rap sings, etc.

Watch this video to see a few more fun ways to incorporate citizenship education in the classroom.

Desh Apnayen stands for creativity in education, and our Disha program is testament to the same. To see samples of what we offer, please click here. Encourage a school near you to contact us today! Do your part in raising a nation of active and aware citizens.

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