Building citizen skills and activation strategies
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Education for citizenship

Providing education for citizenship, from an early age, is highly important because understanding and knowing about this topic and how it impacts their life’s can be crucial to encouraging civic participation, to foster a sense of belonging, to developed critical thinking skills, promote democratic values and overall give people tools to build a better future. As well as educating for citizenship, promoting the value of participation as a form of citizenship can be accomplished through a variety of techniques, such as education; outreach and engagement; access to information; encouraging political engagement and finally recognizing and rewarding participation.

School education

Primary school children
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As previously said, educating children and young people about their rights and obligations as citizens is critical for promoting the importance of participation. This can be accomplished through school curricula, after-school activities, and community-based organizations. As for how we can teach to children and young people to learn about citizenship, the main principle is to treat them with same respect and acknowledge the same value that their contributions have as we would for an adult. From then on, activities can be arranged such as: Teach students how to manage conflict in ways that respect the individual liberties of others; explain and encourage students to learn about and participate on representative councils or students associations; allow for a collaborative school rules process with students (without any prejudice or predetermination of what the rules will be); allow students to democratically agreed on the rules (at least a few) to showcase the importance of following rules that they had a saying in; create using fundraising drives, bake sales or community food pantries in school as to give back to their community.9

Adult education

As for the education of adults when it comes to citizenship, we recommend the key concepts describe in the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning “Addressing global citizenship education in adult learning and education” whose main purpose is to be able to instill in adults a permanent earning to know, to do, to be and to live together.10

Source: Nikolitsa-Winter, et al (2019)

The general idea remains that: just like digital skills are in permanent demand and need to be updated following the trajectory and evolution of technology the same is valid for citizenship and the skills necessary to promote an active participation in society. For this to happen we need to be able to dynamize opportunities for individuals and groups to take part in society which will only be fruitful if the elements involved share a common understanding and a sense of community.

Education for citizenship
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