By Ramatoulie Jawo
National Council for civic Education (NCCE) on Tuesday presented its activity report and financial statement to the National Assembly standing committee on Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC).
Yusupha Bojang, NCCE programme manager, said the institution has over the years designed and adopted diverse strategies in engaging the public across the country.
He said the diverse strategic interventions of the NCCE in 2020 were executed through community sensitisation outreaches, School sensitizations, media (Radio & TV), Interface Dialogue and a host other available public engagement strategies to the Council.
The NCCE programme manager continue that as part of efforts to continually reach out and take civic education to the doorstep of every Gambia, the NCCE in the period under review engaged GRTS (TV& Radio), Paradise (TV &Radio) and City Limits Radio for 6 months, to conduct weekly TV and Radio talk-shows.
“The various programs were live phone-in talk-shows and panel discussions, conducted in English and local languages during prime times, to ensure wider understanding by the viewers and listeners. In addition to the talk-shows, Radio and TV spots/jingles were also produced and aired periodically,” he said.
Bojang highlighted that in the context of the poor representation and participation of women and young people in decision-making at the national and local levels, the NCCE with support from UNFPA conducted training sessions for selected communities in WCR, LRR, NBR, CRR, & URR from 1st to 10th December 2020, targeting over 406 participants such as Chiefs, Alkalolu, Lady Councillors, Youth Leaders, VDCs and WDCs.
The trainings, he added were aimed at enhancing awareness and understanding of local and traditional authorities on the need to advance and uphold women and youth participation in decision making and Peace building at grassroots levels; especially within the local government decentralised structures such as Chiefs, Alkalolu, Village Development Committees (VDCs), and Ward Development Committees (WDCs) etc., to ensure inclusion in peace building initiatives and governance and development processes.
“The need to strengthen the NCCE to effectively fulfil its constitutional mandate is very pressing considering our democratic and political realities. The widespread polarization and partisan, ethnic and religious divisions among Gambians make civic education both more challenging and increasingly important,” Bojang said.
The institution is expected to return to parliament on Thursday (tomorrow) for consideration of its activity report and financial statement by the committee.