Presentation on Effective Civic Education for Democratic Citizenship
On June 6, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) Deputy Country Director for Ukraine Gio Kobakhidze spoke on the evolution of civic education in the digital age at an international seminar on “Electoral Participation and Education for Democracy” and the Seventh General Assembly of the Réseau des compétences électorales francophones (RECEF) in Sinaia, Romania. The seminar took place from June 5-7 and gathered nearly 100 participants from 30 countries, including leaders from election management bodies and international organizations. It was hosted by the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania in partnership with RECEF and the International Organization of the Francophonie.
In his presentation, Kobakhidze offered an overview of the key principles of effective civic education for democratic citizenship, and explained how these will need to continuously evolve to meet the challenges, threats and opportunities associated with democracy in the digital age.
Kobakhidze emphasized that reinvigorating the conversation and championing effective civic education, while a key first step, is not enough on its own. Alongside the critical need for its broader and systematic application worldwide, from schools through universities, Kobakhidze underscored the need for civic education to evolve in order to address and strengthen the skills, knowledge and values that are critical for mindful democratic citizenship in the digital age, while staying true to its core mission – to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills that enable them to engage mindfully in their democracies, through an environment that fosters democratic values and attitudes.
Kobakhidze concluded his talk with a good practice case study, highlighting IFES’ innovative civic education programming in Ukraine, which was customized for the country based on IFES’ global Strengthening Engagement Through Education for Democracy (SEED) methodology. Watch a recording of his remarks.