Civic Education is one of the most needed, yet most misrepresented topics under consideration by many of its stakeholders in Pakistan’s educational and school communities. An unpacking of its existing concepts needs a renewed understanding in terms of teachers’ own perception of it and their incorporating its values in their pedagogies and lesson planning. The two-way interaction between the teacher and their pupils needs to be understood in light of Pakistan’s citizen-state relationship and how this relationship can translate into a constructive citizen approach towards peace and development. With an aim of fostering positive values of peace, democratic practices, interfaith & intercultural harmony, global citizenship, climate justice, rule of law and adaptability to the requirements of 21st century social skills, Center for Peace and Secular designed and developed a Book on Civic Education for students in their adolescent years. Prepared a teacher resource book on civic education, a song for the youth which lays an emphasis on constructive values for peace and to do away with radical ideologies. Have been conducting Seminars in universities to understand importance of Civic education.
In July, Center for Peace and Secular Studies also carried out a 5-day intensive knowledge and experience sharing workshop with 25 teachers from remote areas of Punjab. The interactions between civic education and curriculum experts and the teachers intersected through various issues felt and experienced in a classroom setting by teaching communities.
Besides distribution of books on civic education among students at school in 15 districts of Punjab, lobbying efforts were successfully made with district education officers who expressed their demand for more such initiatives for both teachers and students. They’ve also requested to include modern social skills that can be at pace with technological advancements. Teachers, school administrators and the students have all expressed their eagerness to learn more about it creatively.
The lessons learnt from this initiative point towards an ever-increasing enthusiasm for this topic, which will also be beneficial for the education departments in all four provinces of Pakistan.