Performance Of National Commission For Civic Education, NCCE, In Recent Times After Receiving Support From Government.
The National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE has, and continue to demonstrate that it is up and equal to every challenge thrown at it, provided it is resourced with the necessary logistics and funds. Lately, Ghanaians are seeing what the Commission is capable of, after receiving the backing of government through the provision of vehicles and funds to carry out education on the marauding Corona pandemic, which until a few months ago, continued to wreak havoc in all corners of the world, not sparing Ghana. Undeniably, the Commission joined the fight against the virus a shade too late but since taking up the fight it has succeeded in making its presence felt.
Leading the fight, Chairperson of the Commission, Josephine Nkrumah and her team have been inundating all corners of the country with the Corona message, harping on the need for all to observe the safety protocols and staying safe at all times. For weeks, the Commission has embarked on a sensitization drive for all to keep safe and healthy because, the virus at the moment ‘might be down but not out’. The high point was when Madam Nkrumah led her team to display placards on some principal streets of Accra to drum home to all that Corona is real.
Instructively, the Commission’s Chairperson seemed to be living her words and beliefs, having once stated that “Civic education is about mindsets and goes beyond engagements on radio and social media. It is an inter-personal engagement with people during which they express their feelings and share their views.” No one doubts the capacity of the NCCE to prove equal to any task or challenge it comes face-to-face with, but critics have been quick to point out some deficiencies of the Commission when it comes to some assignments forgetting that the NCCE can only work when it has the necessary tools. For years, the Commission was starved of the necessary tools to undertake critical engagements by successive governments.
Being a creation of the 1992 constitution, the Commission for years, discharged its duties to the best of its abilities. It works to promote and sustain democracy and inculcate in the citizens, awareness on their rights and obligations through civic education. Apart from the media, the Information Services Department and other allied Institutions that carry out similar mandate, the NCCE’s information drive to the people cannot be underestimated.
Indeed, Samuel Adu Gyamfi and H.T Yartey in their research piece “The role of the NCCE in citizens Education”, were forthright in their thinking that “Education drives growth of Nations, based on the training and skills it offers citizens.” Arguably, the role of the NCCE to teach people their civic rights and responsibilities, continue to remain relevant more especially at this time when the country journeys towards another major polls in December.
In fact, the NCCE’s “calling” became very apparent during the District Assembly Elections, the aborted National Referendum and lately the fight against COVID-19. As a result, doubters have recently swallowed their attacks with some converting to be ardent supporters of the NCCE, which has shown that the perceived dormancy will crystallize into real action and concrete outcomes if it is resourced.
For now, the Commission believes it can do more if support becomes available. Having garnered some critical backing in recent times, the worrying pattern of neglect of the Commission will hopefully be a thing of the past. The Chairperson couldn’t have put it better, when she declared, that this is the first time since joining the NCCE, the Commission has seen some steps to address staff challenges. She said in five years prior to 2020, the NCCE has had only 45 replacements when hundreds of staff have exited. But with the changing trend, she expects the National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE, to rise to the occasion.
The script was by Abigail Sackitey, a Freelance Journalist