South Africa: IEC brings democracy curriculum to learners
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, is expected to launch a campaign to promote electoral democracy among learners.
“The goal of the School Democracy Program, which has a focus week from April 25-29 to coincide with Freedom Day, is to promote electoral democracy among learners and prepare them to be active citizens, who will take part in decisions about their own future,” the IEC said ahead of the launch.
As part of the campaign, thousands of learners across the country will participate in civic education and voter registration activities.
The Friday launch of the Schools Democracy Program 2022 campaign will take place at Rekgaratlile High School in Kuruman, Northern Cape.
The Deputy Minister for Basic Education, Dr Reginah Mhaule and Bonolo Modise, the Northern Cape Provincial Electoral Officer, will speak at the launch. IEC staff will be on hand to assist students with information. They will answer questions about democracy and electoral democracy, and demonstrate the latest election management technologies.
Research has shown that while young people make up the majority of the South African population, their participation in elections remains low.
The IEC is tackling this problem through, among others, the school democracy program and the voter education campaign of higher education institutions.
“Equipping young South African citizens with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for active citizenship and encouraging them to register and vote is key to nurturing our young democracy.
“This is backed up by research that shows that once people have voted once, they generally continue to vote in future elections,” said the commission’s Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo.