Civic Education for Consolidating Relationships
between People and Local Self Governance
Organised by Nepal Foundation for Advanced
14 October 2012, Tankisinwari, Morang
Tankisinwari is located near to Biratnagar. It is an industrial
place and lies in Sunsari- Morang industrial corridor. Due to
the close neighboring to Biratnagar, majority of youths are educated
and well known about the current situation of the country. Likewise,
there is a good chance to work in any industry or to involve in
any business. It is because the rapid growth in urbanization,
the scope of business is also increased.
The number of participants is around 110 and representation
from various aspects of the local community. All of them are
found so serious by detoriating situation of the country in
each and every aspect. They were afraid whether the democracy
itself is in crisis. Many youths have devoted their life for
economic and political change. But the present situation is
not so hopeful to change the economy and politics in desired
Presenting a working paper on ''Civic Education for Consolidating
Relationships between People and Local Self Governance'' organized
by the Nepal Foundation for Advanced studies (NEFAS) recently,
Shivaraj Dahal, young sociologist advised local people to be
hopeful in the days to come because the change in current situation
is almost necessary and it happens. He said that the prevailing
education system is almost failure to save our social values
and sense of morality among youths. If youths will not be capable
to divert the society in right track, the society may take wrong
Mr.Dahal said that women and youths should be made capable
to establish the good governance and democracy by teaching them
civic education. Without the knowledge and practice of civic
education the political situation will not improve and the issues
of good governance and establishing the democratic values in
practice may remain as sweet dream for a long time. It is because
civic education is a root-cause of sense, discipline and positive
thinking towards society and nation as a whole. Thus, civic
education should be included in formal course of study at school
and college level, Dahal said.
Mr. Dahal stressed on the need of civic education and remarked
that a large number of youths are going abroad for earning due
to the lack of employment opportunity within the country and
due to the social conflict. Civic education can improve this
situation with establishing moral values and initating the youths
to involve in productive work which helps to reduce the poverty
in the country. The youths may change the dirty scenario of
politics and convert into clean, discipline, people friendly
and development oriented. Thus, youths should be involved in
politics to drive the right track. If they become indifferent
to politics, there is a fear of taking wrong direction by the
nation as a whole. It may hamper the democracy too.
He advised that this is a prime time for all the citizens especially
the youths to be aware of political development which is on
going in the country. Social transformation is only possible
when youths take part their role actively. Civic education may
help to create the favourable environment. Politics based on
sound economy only can solve the political problems. Thus, youths
should be provided employment opportunity and self[employment
opportunities within the country because the current trend of
youths going abroad for employment facing by the country is
not a good symptom in the days to come.
The attraction for employment opportunities is concentrated
in Kathmandu Valley and gulf countries for abroad. This trend
should be changed; most of the participants were agreed with
The local people were feared that youths are not involving
in active politics. The educated youths have misconception about
the politics. It is not a good sign for nation building. Thus,
they should be made proactive in political issues, civic education
may help them.
The political leaders of major political parties are not seemed
serious for political establishment and strengthening the democracy
in the country. They are involving only for achieving the state
power. The agenda of saving national sovereignty is in shadow.
The issues of economic development and political establishment
should be given priority setting a side their ideological differences
by the political leaders to initate them local people should
united with one voice ,participants were agreed.
Prof. Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma expressed his view on the current
economic issues which are the outcomes of wrong practices of
political power. The youths should be involved in production
and productive activities by leaving their political ideologies
for economic development and nation building. It is only possible
when civic education get proper importance in nation's education
system, Prof. Dr. Sharma added.
Prof. Dr. Sharma argued that economics works as a supportive
factor of politics. If economics fails to support the politics,
the nation become failure state because without economic development
no steps toward human dignity, establishing democratic values
and institutions, good governance and so on can be taken. The
country may face even the problem of national sovereignty and
identity. Thus, economics and politics should go together. It
is because politics guides economic activities and economic
activities are the base for the politics.
Prof. Dr. Sharma said economy of the nation is based on three
components i.e. state, private sector and cooperative. But due
to various obstacles, the country is not achieving the desired
economic goals. Capital centric politics is also hampering the
economic development because devolution of political power significantly
contributes to devolution of economic power.
He threw lights on economic governance which is passing through
unordered way. Inequality and poverty go together. Around 50
percent of the total trade is illegal. In stagnant situation,
the economic growth of the nation can not be improved. It is
only possible, when we follow the inclusive and broad based
development model having the proper system of policy regulation.
Prof. Dr. Sharma focused that per capital income of Nepal is
us$ 765 only while the per capital income of our neighbouring
countries is very high (China US $7500 and India US $ 3500).
It proves our economic backwardness with our neighbouring countries.
Prof. Dr. Sharma former Vice Chairman of national planning
commission said that we became failed in economic development
process and it is due to the visionless political actors. They
should be responsible for this result. The main source of national
income is remittance. We have never aware about the cost side
of remittance. He said that our data base system is not reliable
and the reducing percent of poverty as the government claimed
(i.e. 25 percent) is not real, it is manipulated. In reality
the percentage of poverty is estimated as high as the government
Even these days, the gap between rich and poor is being wide-
spread. Economic governance is not seemed effective and inefficient
toward equity and equality.
Prof Sharma said that the state should be aware of mobilizing
youths in social development. The youths should be provided
various opportunities for their economic, social, political
and personality development. They should be kept in centre for
our each and every developmental effort. Otherwise the country
will slip in the wrong track. For some extent, civic education
can solve these problems.
While discussing with the participants Dr. Sharma said that
the evaluation of right and wrong works has been taken by the
conscious citizens. The aim of the political movements is making
peaceful and equitable Nepal. All of us have played the role
in various political and social movements for making the country.
But in the present situation, we sometimes feel as hopeless.
The fear is that whether we are missing our right way or not.
The economy connected with politics is in crisis. The politics
is managed by economy. But economy itself is sick. The economic
depression has hampered even in the USA and Europe. This situation
has put the question mark on capitalism.
He realised that some developmental efforts were initiated
in the past. Many public enterprises were established in economic
cooperation of various countries. New Education Plan of 1972
has also contributed to manage the responsibility of the government
in education within the country.
While taking about the need for political awareness Prof.Dr.Ram
Kumar Dahal said that youths should be involved in politics
and social activities. They should not be kept aside from politics
and social activities. But in reality, the youths of Nepal are
misguided and misinformed. They should be encouraged in politics
and it should prove that politics is not a dirty game. But to
make politics clean and respectful, the honest dedicated and
those youths who have a good knowledge of civic education should
Prof.Dahal feared that the civil society is not working as
indifferently. The civil society is guided by political parties.
The main aim of civil society is to alert the political parties
in their wrong decision. In this situation, civil society can
not do any thing even the wrong decision taken by the political
parties. This will harm the nation. Political leaders should
work in favour of the ordinary people and to be capable for
solving the problems at state level.
He said that the most of the political leaders ignore the ordinary
people after getting elected from their votes. This situation
is happening due to the lack of civic education. Thus to make
the political leaders responsible toward the people, youths
should be made aware. By mainstreaming the youths in politics,
political malpractices may be reduced and we can be hopeful
for the future of the nation.
Chandra Dev Bhatta, Programme Officer of Friedrich Ebert stifting
highlighted the objectives of the programme and introduced FES.
HE focused on the contribution of Friedrich Ebert, first president
of Germany in the area of social uplifting and institutionlising
the social dialogue.
He focused on the role of civic education for nation building,
strengthening the democracy, reducing the social dispute and
bearing responsibility and being dutiful toward society and
nation. Without expanding civic education the objective of social
development, democratic values, good governance and maintaining
rule of law may not be achieved. Thus civic education is necessary
to make good citizen and creating social justice. Hence civil
society can put pressure on the government for not taking the
wrong decisions. He added that the present practice of democracy
is just reversing than its motto. Political leaders have changed
the objective 'for' into distance, 'from' the people is changed
into off the people and 'by' the people converted into buy the
He remarked that to change this situation, civil society should
be influential and stronger.
In the beginning of the programme, Prof. Ananda Shrestha, Chairman
of the NEFAS explained the objectives of the programme with
introducing the role and activities of NEFAS for awareness and
providing civic education. He focused that no society goes a
head without expanding civic education. In this mission, FES
is supporting NEFAS.
He added that this type of civic education programme may help
to create awareness and to encourage the youths in nation building
process and put on pressure for correcting the detoriating politics.
He said that NEFAS has launched the seminars for civic education
programme to accumulate the opinions of the people through out
the country. He requested the participants to express their
valuable views which may help to formulate the national policy
for policy makers. The desired goal of democracy may not be
achieved without the active participation of youths. So, they
should be active.
From the chair, Mrs. Ramita wosti, Assistant Headmistress of
Naragram Higher Secondary School stressed on the importance
of civic education for the youths. Especially, she highlighted
the role of women in social ordering and establishing democratic
Bhola Kaji Rai, a local political leader, remarked that
the practice of upper guided politics is hampering the politics
and disturbed the Constitutional Assembly. Thus, politics began
from below has an importance for political establishment. He
again said that the policy of privatisation of public enterprises
was initiated by the economists themselves.
Prem Chamling, a social activist, said that this type
of programme certainly helps to create awareness in the society.
Thus, the people should know the reality.
Kedar Aryal, a local social activist, highlighted that
the agriculture is not being productive. So, commercial farming
should be implemented to improve the living standard of the
farmers. It also helps to solve the unemployment problem of
Hareram Yadav, a local youth, has asked that what type
of policy should be followed by the political parties to reduce
the trend of youths for going abroad and will they follow such
Ram Bahadur Yadav, teacher of Naragram Higher Secondary
School asked the role of direct and indirect tax in GDP and
FDI. He advised the importance of civic education at each level
as per their standard.
Kapil Sunar, a young Dalit activist, remarked that the
result of poverty is the lack of practicing democracy in proper
way. In this paper, the black marketing and malpractices of
private education were not included. The issues of inequality
and discrimination may not weak the nationalism.
Bishnu Bhatarai, a local resident, argued that the potentialities
of the development side are not mentioned in the paper. What
types of benefits may be achieved by our big neighbouring countries?
should also be included. The present political system is creating
misunderstanding and misinforming.
Prof. Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma answered that the practical implementation
of liberalisation and privatisation was in wrong direction.
The economy should be made self sustainable.
Thus, mobile and flexible economy can grow. The economy should
be kept orderly. But we became failure in practicing the orderly
Professor Kabi Raj Neupane said that this type of seminar would
help to create awareness among the youths to correct our mistakes.
But the paper highlighted the problems only, the remedies are