I attended the BRIDGE Civic Education module on Monday 29th - Thursday 2nd October 2008. It was a very useful experience because I learned a lot of new information about the methodologies, knowledge, skills and disposition to be developed or transferred or encouraged in a Civic Education program and a lot of grey areas, like the place of morals and values in a democracy were made clear. There were some strong opinions for and against spiritual development going along with or side by side with social, economic, cultural, technological and political development and it was fascinating to hear the various views and different ideological positions on this topic.
We also had an opportunity to reflect on and examine our own thinking processes and we learned the various ways of thinking and practised how to think laterally – in six different ways about the same issues: objectively, intuitively, in a logical and positive way and in a logical and negative way, in new and creative ways, and how to be in control over one’s thinking processes – making summaries, overviews and conclusions. I think the ability to look at issues from many different points of view can be taught and developed and it is very important because it makes tolerance, accommodation and the process of consensus building in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural nation easier.
Listening to what the other Pacific Islanders are doing in Civic Education was very enlightening and empowering. It helped me to foresee the realities that lie ahead of the NICE Team and how to capitalize on the opportunities that will be given to us to help us achieve our goals, as well as potential problems that await us and how those can be avoided or solved effectively.
We focused on the "who, what, when, where, how and why" questions relating to a Civic Education program and everyone was able to benefit from everyone else’s experience. We also looked at what the rest of the world is doing on Civic Education. Our specialists Mike Zulu, Oscar Tembo and Rose Mutayiza generously shared their knowledge, skills and experiences to the Pacific Islanders throughout the four days.
This short account is not even a summary of the benefits of attending the BRIDGE Civic Education module, it is just an off the cuff account of the 4 day experience on my first day back at work.
Community Civic Education Associate
"This is the personal opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the institution she works for."