French philosopher and sociologist Charles de Montesquieu said: “It is good to create democracy for people. But, there is something better and more significant: to raise people for democracy”. And, really, life in democratic civil society offers people many advantages, rights and liberties that they were deprived of in authoritative regimes and dictatorships. But, these possibilities are of no use if people cannot use all advantages that this social system offers to them. When we say civil society, we consider all the people who live in the state with equal rights regardless their national and class belonging, sex or any other difference. Civic education took a deep root in the idea of Europe after the World War II. Civic education has the goal to create responsible and informed people and to give them knowledge and specialize them for the active participation in democratic civil society.
The principles of efficiency in civic education include:
- Explanations about the function of democracy and democratic institutions
- Understanding of the rule of rights and human rights that reflect in international conventions and other agreements
- Strengthening of participation abilities which give the possibility to students to deal with the problems in society
- Broad usage of interactive methods in teaching and studying, focused on students
- Strenghtening of culture of democracy and peace in every aspect of life
The important element of civic education is the education about human rights. The aim of education for human rights is the strengthening of individual and group consciousness about universality and inalienability of human rights and liberties. Also, helping people to resist to inequalities based on sex, ethnical origin, language, religion or social status. That is why it occupies, not only the knowledge of the facts about human rights, including international instruments, but acquiring of knowledge for advancement and protection of human rights on the local, national and international level.
The aim of civic education is that students get knowledge, develop abilities and skills, adopt values which are assumptions for the complete development of personality and for responsible life in the spirit of respect of human rights and liberties, peace, tolerance, the equality of sexes, understanding between nations and religious groups.
Student is expected to do the following:
- to develop self-respect, the feeling of personal and group identity
- to develop ability of understanding the differences between people and willingness to respect and accept them
- to develop communication skills that are necessary for cooperative behavior and constructive solution of conflicts
- to develop ability for the critical judgment and responsible decisions
- to understand nature and possible causes of conflicts and to encourage peaceful solution of conflict
- to understand nature and the manner of establishing social and ethical norms, legal norms and their importance for common life
- to train students about techniques for the group work and group decision-making