In the week when South Africa celebrates Freedom Day and 24 years of democracy, the 6th annual Schools’ Democracy Week programme will also be taking place in selected public schools throughout South Africa. The Electoral Commission will once again partner with the Free State Department of Education to educate young people about electoral democracy.
Staff from the Electoral Commission in 19 municipalities will visit participating schools and lead activities, which will include presentations, debates, voter registrations, role-plays, interactive sessions, mock elections, formal lessons and lectures. The long-term objective is to entrench active participation as a fundamental civic responsibility and to institutionalise and infuse electoral democracy content into the formal school curriculum at all levels.
The first Schools’ Democracy Week was initiated in 2013 following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Electoral Commission and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to address the challenges of increasing youth participation in electoral democracy. The collaboration between the Electoral Commission and the DBE is also intended to support the drive to increase youth registration as well as to educate youth, in particular first-time voters on voter registration and voting.
The programme will be rolled out in selected public schools throughout South Africa from 23 to 27 April 2018.
PIERCE VAN HEERDEN