In this piece, I will discuss the meaning of citizenship education, its importance, and the types of citizenship. Citizenship education’s goal is to equip people with the required knowledge and skills to understand, challenge and engage with democratic society including politics, the media, civil society, the economy, and the law.
What is Citizenship Education
Citizenship education can be defined as follows
- It is a process of enlightening or training citizens on their rights and responsibilities.
- It is a form of education given to citizens with a view to making them responsible individuals who are committed to the meaningful development of their society.
- It is a type of education which instills desirable values, attitudes, skills, and knowledge into individuals to enable them to participate in the affairs of their group or adjust functionally as good citizens.
Importance of Citizenship Education
Effective citizenship education helps to:
- Sensitize Nigerian youths on their duties and rights as citizens.
- Produce responsible, well-informed and self-reliant Nigerian youths.
- Inculcate the right values and attitudes into the youths for the development of the society.
- Help citizens especially youths identify national problems and proffer solutions.
- Produce enlightened youths who are politically and nationally conscious.
- Instill in the youths high moral standards which are required for the development of the country.
- Encourage national integration and nation building.
- Prepare the youths for future leadership roles.
- Instill in youths a sense of national consciousness and patriotism towards their society and the country at large.
- Provide the youths with sound knowledge and skills required by them to actively
- Participate in the process of democratic governance in the society e.g. voting, standing for election, protesting against bad policies, and constructive criticism of leaders among others.
- Inform citizens of the activities of the government in a democratic society.
- Educate citizens on the importance of rules and regulations in the society e.g. rule
Ways Citizens Can Be Involved in Community Service
- By mobilizing people to participate in the provision of social infrastructure/public utilities.
- By contributing in kind and cash to the provision of social infrastructure/utilities in society e.g construction of public toilets, a donation to orphanages, etc.
- By protecting public utilities e.g pipelines, transformers, public buildings, etc.
- By participating in environmental sanitation activities in society e.g drainage of gutters, provision of waste bins, etc.
- By promoting inter-religious/ inter-personal/ inter-communal harmony in society.
- By forming or participating in community policing/vigilante groups.
- By educating members of the community to be security conscious.
- By disseminating information about government programmes/policies/activities to solve societal problems e.g. human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, etc.
- By participating in political activities e.g. voting.
- By assisting law enforcement agencies in performing their duties of the law.
Types of Citizenship
Citizenship by Birth: This can be acquired when a person is born in Nigeria or outside Nigeria but whose parents or grandparents are a citizen of Nigeria.
Citizenship by Naturalization: This type of citizen is for those who are not born into a country but prefer to be a citizen of that country. They will have to apply to appropriate government authority in that country, and after certifying certain conditions, such a person can be granted citizenship.
Citizenship by Registration/Marriage: This refers to citizenship acquired by someone because of marriage.
Citizenship by Honor: This happens when the government of a particular country especially honors an Eminent Foreigner by granting him/her the citizenship of that particular country.