By Mustapha Jallow
Twelve communities in Upper River, Central River and Lower River Regions are benefitting from a training on enhance inclusive participation in grassroots governance.
The training which began on Thursday is undergoing in four venues in each of the regions.
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), Gambia’s premier civic education institution, on Thursday commenced the training of decentralized community structures on civic education and inclusive participation in decision-making processes in the regions.
The twelve-day training is supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through the United Nations Peace Building Fund (UNPBF).
Delivery his opening statement in Basse, Mr Yusupha Bojang, the Programme Manager of NCCE, said the training targets about 480 participants from Multi-Disciplinary Facilitation Teams (MDFTs), VDCs, WDCs and Mothers’ Clubs.
According to him, the campaign is meant to promote civic education to increase inclusiveness and participation in decision-making in grassroots governance.
Bojang said the targeted participants represent the critical mass in the grassroots and therefore have a staggering potential “in influencing the thinking and actions of your people.”
He reiterated his institution’s commitment to intensify civic education campaigns as the country braces itself for a crucial presidential election that will be a pivotal moment to consolidate and cement the democratic trajectory of the Gambia.
Bojang used the opportunity to call on citizens, particularly young people to respect the laws of the land and desist from the abuse of social media. He also urged the youth not to allow themselves to be used by politicians as pawns in the political chess game.
Speaking on behalf of the Governor of URR, Alhaji Jatta commended the timing of the training and encouraged NCCE to further increase their efforts towards rigorous citizenship education across the country.
He urged the NCCE to broaden its partnership with community structures and other stakeholders working in the field of civic education, so as to educate as many people as possible on their rights and duties.
Mr Foday Danjo, Chairman Basse Area Council, praised NCCE for upholding its constitutional mandate of educating Gambians on their rights and duties. Danjo called on the Government and other partners to support NCCE in any way that will increase its full effectiveness and presence throughout the country.
For Lady Councilor Jonfolo Jarju of Basse, the training is tailor-made to make them aware of their duties and responsibilities, so that they can function properly in the development of their communities.
Councilor Jarju said women have long been left behind in development, including education and others.