IEC drive to educate young democrats

2010-02-16 00:00

IN between elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is hard at work on a civic ­education programme that helps people learn what it means to live in a democracy.

One such project locally is a schools programme being run by the Msunduzi Municipality branch of the IEC.

The city team has been working with schools since November last year and has found a way to get young people to research the concept of democracy for themselves.

According to Msunduzi Municipal electoral officer Nick Davids, they have been holding speech contests in more than 24 schools. Students research, write and talk about “The importance of public participation in strengthening electoral democracy”.

The best speeches in each school have been chosen and will be presented at a schools public speaking contest to be held today, tomorrow and on Wednesday, March 3.

The function will take place at the Winston Churchill Theatre from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm on all three days.

Davids said the objective is to promote public awareness of the importance of public participation to keep a democracy healthy. It is also to develop the interest of young people in electoral democracy and to offer them critical information so they, too, will help promote and strengthen the country’s democracy.

The IEC’s partners in the project include the KZN Premier’s office, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, the Msunduzi Municipality, the Education Department and the SABC.

Members of the public are invited to attend.

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