Civic Education for Consolidating Relationships
between People and Local Self Governance
Organised by Nepal Foundation for Advanced
12 October 2012, Namje, Dhankuta
Namje is hilly and tourism- friendly place
of Dhankuta district, nearer to Bhedetar, a popular hill station
of Eastern Nepal and located at near to Dharan. All most youths
are educated and engaged in commercial farming, hotel business
and other income generating activities. The locality is populated
with ethnic community and is aware about the political instability
and detoriating situation of the country. They are not found satisfied
with the current practice of Lokatantra and failure of Constituent
Assembly to make the new constitution of Nepal. More than 135
people from different sectors were participated in this Seminar.
Some students of class XII and Bachelor level especially girls
were actively participated. The discussions that followed reflected
the intensive churning that the Nepalese society is undergoing
at present. The participants were also provided with the booklet
Handouts on Democracy
Mr. Shiv Raj Dahal, young sociologist,
advised the local people to be hopeful in the days to come by
correcting the weakness of these days. The need of reform is
needed in each and every aspect of the country, mainly, social,
economic, education, politics, history and so on. The current
education system is not successful to provide the enlighten
and awareness regarding the social values and sense of morality
to the new generation of the country.
Mr. Dahal stressed on the need of social
awareness for social transformation as per the changing global
scenario and the demand of time. He said there are no people's
representatives at the local government level at present. This
has created a difficult situation. Local governance constitutes
the foundation of democracy. How can this aspect of democracy
be strengthened? We have sent our representatives to make a
new constitution. We have to apply pressure on them to include
the issues that concern us in the new constitution. Our education
system is only producing workers for foreign countries. Who
is going to guarantee that our rights are upheld in such a situation?
We have to stop the youth from emigrating. We would like to
thank you all for accepting our invitation.
Mr.Dahal presented a working paper on ''Civic
Education for Consolidating Relationship between people and
local self Governance'' in the programme organized by the Nepal
Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) recently.
Mr.Dahal said that democracy can be strengthened
by the active participation of youths and women. If they remaining
far from the politics, the foundation of democracy and good
governance will only be limited in theory and formality not
Dahal focused on the need of civic education
which can bridge the relationship between the people for knowing
the common issues. Civic education makes the people sensible,
disciplined and promotes good governance from the national level
to the local level. He again argued on the significance of moral
education in formal curriculum at school and college level to
safeguard our social and cultural harmony. He said that the
detoriating situation in every aspect of national life is due
to the lack of civic education. It is also the root-cause of
poverty and loosing the moral values.
The trend and dependency of young on foreign
employment is increasing day per day. This is not the permanent
solution of unemployment problem. Due to the political instability,
load shading and labour problem, industrialization process is
not in right track. Domestic violence and other social problems
are arising as the result of foreign employment.
He again expressed that youths are the heart
of nation and the pillar of tomorrow. Thus, they should be made
attentive in the politics for making the nation better in the
days to come. If we failed to attract them towards constructive
politics, the future of the nation is in crisis and uncertain.
So, it is the right time to mainstreaming them in constructive
politics, having disciplined society and preparing nationalist
citizen for the better tomorrow.
The politics following the wrong track could
not reach in the right destination with the fruits of democracy
and good governance. It may be the means to earn money and to
misuse the power for their own interest. It can replace and
gives bad impression for democracy. If the democracy becomes
weak, than all the systems of government may be handicapped,
Dahal stressed without active participation of young generation,
the country can not go a head in developing process. So, youth
should be aware in the politics, he said.
In the social transformation process, it is
only possible when youth participate in social activities. In
this context, it is necessary to be involved by youths in different
aspects of the society with the help of civic education, he
explained. He also aware that increasing number of youths who
are going abroad for seeking employment and permanent residency
is challenging situation and creates gap in national politics.
So, the enough opportunity for youth should be created within
the country because politics based on economy may address the
reality, he added.
This is the high time to correct the politics
with the help of the youths, which can show the away of many
obstacles for establishing the democracy and rule of the law.
At the same time, the gainful opportunity and self-employment
opportunity should be created for the youths to mobilize them
infavour of nation building process, he said.
The local people have remarked that large
numbers of youths are going abroad in search of job and remaining
others are concentrated in Kathmandu Valley. Thus, the villages
are almost youthless and the supply of agricultural labourers
is minimal as per its demand. They remarked that lack of moral
and civic education; youths are not so aware in politics. They
are not also sensitive in bearing their responsibilities, self-
confidence, and maintaining social and cultural values. They
are found to be indifferent from politics. If this situation
continues there is a fear of making gap in national politics.
As a result, it also hampers the democracy to a large extent.
The local people complained the national leaders of major political
parties for not being sincerely to write the constitution and
not to be serious in national sovereignty and to preserve the
value of democracy. The vision and action of economic development
is almost neglected by the politicians. They expressed that
no serious steps were taken by the leaders to solve the national
issues. The participants stressed that putting aside their ideological
differences; they should be concerned to settle the national
issues, preserving democratic values and focus on economic development.
These factors can drive the nation for a positive direction
and right track.
Professor Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma threw the lights
on some contemporary economic issues of public concern and added
the economic aspect of civic education. He focused that more
youths should be involved in productive activities as an example
for other people in the society. He said state, private sector
and cooperatives are the components where the national economy
is based. If economics fails to support politics, it affects
democracy, human dignity and values. He stressed that the economy
and politics are centered in Kathmandu. Politics guides economic
activities and economic activities are the base to the politics.
Prof. Dr. Sharma alarmed that if the appropriate
system could not be given, the future of the country is not
affect not only economic, social and political sectors but also
destroyed geographically. The issue of self decisive power is
more serious in Nepalese context. How does it prevail in decision
making process in national context?, he asked. He again put
the sign of interrogation that are the decision making in national
issues are taken as per our needs and interest? At the large
extent, Nepalese economy is affected by the outside. The source
of money is existed in outside of the country. Mainly the source
of income of the national economy is donor driven remittance.
In absence of this, the national economy can not stand itself.
Prof. Dr. Sharma said that we are going to
be parasite day by day. This fact is accepted by political leaders
too. It is clear that in the national annual budget, the contribution
of revenue is only 50 percent. In the development expenditure
the revenue contributes only 30 percent. Remaining 70 percent
expenditure comes from foreign aid (loan and donation). This
is the achievement of our development effort of 60/65 years.
Economy is the backbone of the nation. If the economy destroys
the politics, society and every thing disturb. He noticed that
40 districts are in food deficit. Agricultural production is
badly affected by climate change. Buffalo is brought from Punjab
to make momo in Kathmandu.
Apple is brought from India whereas apple
of Jumla is damaged due to the lack of proper management of
supply system. Industrial sector contributes only one percent
where as the precondition of the economic development is industrialisation.
The saving investment gap arose to 22 percent. We have started
the economic planning before 57 years. The surplus capacity
is only 10 percent and the investment requirement is 32 percent.
There is a massive disguised unemployment problem in rural Nepal,
Prof.Dr. Sharma argued that we are moving
in the global context. The tendency in each and every sector,
there is situation of cross country movement. The current monetary
policy permits the investment opportunity for Nepalese in any
country. In comparison to India, We have high cost economy thus
there is a change of capital flight to other countries.
Prof. Dr. Sharma former Vice Chairman of National
Planning Commission added the New Education plan of 1972 has
contributed to expand and develop the education in the country.
This plan has made the education sytem sound, proper distributive
The gone are the days where sufficient infrastructure
were built, foreign investment was attracted and favourble environment
was created. Many industrial units, high ways, trolley bus etc.
were constructed and maintained by other countries, he said.
All these things can be managed by enlighten
them the civic education. Thus, the future of the country is
on the hand of youths. It is necessary to be secured from all
aspects. The possibility is seemed only when the youths participate
with honesty and actively, he said. The youth should safeguard
the nation, society, cultural and other values. The education
system should be made capable to maintain these issues, he stressed.
Prof. Dr. Sharma said greed is the motivating
factor of capitalism. Thus such type of system should be developed
where the coordinating between greed and service delivery is
The motivation of greed has shown negative
impact in the economy. Politics creates the proper economic
system but polities it self is in wrong track. The economy is
dependent on remittance and donation. The trade deficit is 400
Export trade can bear only 20 percent of the
total volume of trade, he added.
He again stressed that we are going to be
more depended on foreign countries almost 300 thousand vehicles
are imported every year. The consumption and demand of LP Gas
is increasing day per day. If the price of these items rises,
we will be badly affected. Political leaders are not honest
to address these problems and make the people self dependent.
The power of self decision is much more dangerous to national
harmony. It may create many problems in nationalism. There is
no proper mapping for federalism. Federal countries of the world
became united from divided condition; we are going to be divided
We should maintain a single Nepal, not divided.
Federalism only is not the solution of all prevailing practices
corruption and undisciplinary activities. The fruits of political
change and economic development should be felt by the grass
route people. The identity is the national property. Hence,
the identity should be guaranteed by the constitution. Coordination
between democracy, peace and patriotic should be needed, he
Prof. Dr. Sharma argued that if the economy
orderly functions, than the development of the nation is possible.
But we are passing our time in unproductive matter. SO, we should
think in national perspective.
Large number of youths is not interested in
politics, they are frustrated by the politics, and however,
without active participation of youth, the politics become meaningless,
claimed Prof. Dr. Ram Kumar Dahal, while talking about the need
for political awareness for youths. He said that youths are
the agents of change in politics and social activities. Thus,
they should not be kept a side of politics, he added.
Prof. Dr. Dahal pointed out the need for generating
awareness among youths to explore that politics is not a dirty
game played by idiots. They should be given awareness that it
is a medicine to cure the nation and make the people happy,
if the honest leadership can developed, he said.
Prof.Dr. Dahal focused that the priority should
be given to youths in politics to change the society with dedication,
honesty and coordination. Civic education provides guidelines
for politics. In these days, civil society is guided by political
parties. It is not a good sign of democracy. Because civil society
should work unbiassly, it represents the voice of voiceless
people and those who are neglected by the political parties.
If this type of trend develops, there will lack of any pressure
group which can point out the wrong aspect of the political
parties. The political leaders will be irresponsible towards
the people. They should know the spirit and feeling of the ordinary
people, he said.
The responsibility to make democracy good
and bad ultimately goes to the political leaders. The political
leaders should have dedication and honesty. If the leader of
one generation maintains honesty and dedication than other generation
can learn and get encouragement to do better in favour of nation
and society. So, the political leaders should be honest, he
Prof. Dahal argued that the democracy of Nepal
should be strengthened by Nepali themselves, not by others.
Academically, we are far behind in comparison to Bangladeshi.
He focused on the need for practice of the rule of the law.
No body is above the law. If the foundation of democracy (local
self governance) can be made strong, than only the democracy
could be strong.
Prof. Dahal argued that Nepalese peoples are
feeling about the crisis in political leadership. Political
parties and politics both are being detoriated and weaker.
He again added that the civil society which
has played a key role in the democratic movement of 2005 is
almost forgotten in these days. Civil society can play a strong
role in burning issues as pressure group against the wrong step
of the government. He remembered the days when USA had attacked
Vietnam, the US civil society opposed strongly. If the civil
society is not strong, the situation of monopoly practices of
the politician affect for a large extent. The speak and behaviour
of the politician should be matched. The character of the politicians
is not seemed as democratic as they claimed themselves. Political
parties should maintain the economic transparency and democratic
practices within the party. He concluded that the concept of
globalization is good but we are not in condition to produce
more. Thus, we have not got the benefit of globalization.
Chandra Dev Bhatta, Programme Officer of Friedrich
Ebert Stifting (FES) high lighting objectives of the programme
said about the objectives of FES. He threw the light in the
contribution of Friedrich Ebert, first president of Germany
in the process of institutionalising social dialogue for uplifting
the society, equity and equality.
Mr.Bhatta argued civic education can coordinate
making the solidarity of the people in the society. It can create
the environment of social justice, making the people sovereign
and build up the capacity for utilising the values of democracy.
Mr. Bhatta said that civic education is useful
for the society and living pattern itself. In absence of this,
many problems are facing by the society in these days. He added
that diversity of castesim is a burning issue of current situation
for national identity and feeling of collective spirit for safeguarding
the social fraction.
He stressed that there is a need of making
responsible for leader towards the state. Civic education can
play the role of class coordination, self-direction, self enlighten
which can change the society as developed and civilized.
Lok Katuwal (teacher) asked the importance
of remittance in Nepalese economy. Prof. Dr. Sharma answered
that the present agriculture is not income generating properly
and the industrialisation process is not developed. Thus, it
is almost compulsory to go foreign employment. Anil Rana asked
about the corruption in the commercial and development banks.
Prof.Dr. Sharma answered that it is the outcomes of globalisation
Narayan P. Bhattarai (teacher) argued that
the specialists should be nominated or elected in constitutional
assembly for making the constitution on time. Prof. Dr. Dahal
replied that the policy of inclusion has created this situation.
Purushottam Niroula (teacher) expressed his
view that this politically detoriated situation is created by
politicians themselves. Gokul kafle (teacher) asked about the
failure of Constitutional Assembly and responsibility of government
and the need of federalism.
Prof. Dr. Dahal answered that it is due to
the lack of civic education and federalism is the need of the
Bishnu Acharaya (local resident) said that
politicians became incapable to settle the dispute.
Dev Narayan Lawati (local resident) pointed
out that due to the ineffective education policy, the situation
of foreign employment and brain-drain are increased.
Pavitra Timisina (teacher) argued that state
itself has discriminated among the teachers.
Bhim karna Dahal (local resident) complained
the leaders for creating this bad situation.
Answering the questions raised by the participants
Mr. Shiva Raj Dahal said that our education policy is only capable
for producing the manpower to foreign employment. No education
policy is guided towards peace, human values and democratic
dedication. The education system is seemed to be carrying the
weight of the books and unproductive theories
Gunjaman Magar, Chairman of the school Management
committee concluded the seminar as a chairperson saying the
importance and role of civic education for nation building and
strengthening the local self governance preserving the democratic
values, creative thinking and coordinative society.
Earlier, Prof. Ananda Shrestha, Chairman of
NEFAS explained the objectives of the seminar that it is a campaign
to aware the people by expanding civic education. NEFAS is conducting
the seminars through out the country with the support of FES.
This seminar helps to create an environment
in favour of positive thinking in the society especially for
Prof. Shrestha requested the participants
to express their views to put pressure on policy making level.
Good governance and democratic culture may
not be established with out the active participation of youths.
Thus, youths can be mobilized by providing the civic education.
Civic education can make them active and devoted towards country
and society. Hence developmental goals may be achieved, Prof.