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Urgent need for civics and citizenship education

4 May 2008

Urgent need for civics and citizenship education

The urgent need for civics and citizenship education in our schools has been underlined by the Electoral Enrolment Centre survey of New Zealanders which showed an abysmal lack of general knowledge of our political system.

The survey of 524 people showed 55% of Pacific people, 45% of Asians and 41% of Maori did not know that an election would be held this year.

The survey also found that 53% of young people were unaware of the election.

We can assume a similar ignorance about political parties and political policies which is largely a reflection of the current school curriculum which has no clear focus in this area.

A paper presented and discussed at the QPEC AGM on 29 March this year emphasised the importance of civics and citizenship education to the participation of young New Zealanders in their local communities. The paper is at -

QPEC sees quality public education and quality public participation as being intimately linked.

Australia has already recognised this and introduced formal Civics and citizenship education into its national curriculum.

It's time we did the same.


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