Center For Peace And Secular Studies

Promoting Civic Education

CPSS channelized the power of social media to disseminate lectures by renowned social scientists and intellectuals under the banner of ‘Socho Pakistan’ (Think, Pakistan) to promote Civic Education in the country. The lecture series forces Pakistani youth to think critically, to ask questions, discuss, learn and understand, to debate using concrete arguments based on logic and reasoning, and to learn to build consensus or gracefully accept differences of opinion. This initiative aims to educate students in subjects that are the building blocks of democracy and citizenship, but are left out of textbooks. Students need to be taught topics missing from the curriculum, including important lessons from history, politics, religion, philosophy, arts and culture, literature and science if they are to become productive members of society. CPSS also published two books on Civic Education. These books impart basic knowledge about concepts like secularism, human rights and democracy. The project focuses on young children as well as college and university students, and has gained a tremendous amount of followers on social media. The books were distributed amongst school, college and university students at more than two hundred institutions. On some educational campuses, the book distribution was accompanied by a panel discussion and question and answer session with the students. Overall, the objective is to force students to think and to question, to explore a variety of perspectives and interpretations, and to immerse in knowledge as a source of guidance, inspiration and introspection. Ultimately, the hope is that CPSS is playing its part in creating the next generation of peace-loving intellectuals who embrace reason and compassion, and understand their rights and responsibilities. This activity was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.