The Validation Meeting for Teachers' Guides and Learners' Manuals is closing its doors with the confirmation that these educational resources, will play a central role in integrating the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance (ACDEG) into the school curricula across the continent.
We started to support this important activity via the pro electoral integrity project funded by the Italian ministry of foreign affairs. The Abidjan meeting in August 2022, where 24 professors discussed on the necessity of a roadmap for the ACDEG mainstreaming among younger generations, was the first of several. In August and October of the same year, two meetings took place in Niamey, to discuss the “African Union Guidelines on Constitutional Amendments”, an important modification to consolidate the standard of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).
A follow up consultative assembly was organised in November 2022, to identify the materials required for the project and the key actors to be involved, and in December, the AU with ECEs support, gathered 35 experts in Kinshasa to work on the teachers ‘guides, the AU pedagogic toolkit, and the final roadmap for future actions.
In March of this year, five teachers' guidelines were developed for primary, and secondary levels of education, complemented b y three additional learners' manuals finalized in May for primary and secondary levels. As part of the Pro Electoral Integrity Project, ECES actively supported this expert meeting in Dakar, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
After all this effort, the purpose of this Maputo-based meeting was to expose, debate and validate the developed material by representatives from 46 AU member states and 85 delegates from RECs, RMs, and AU organs.
The event's started with a comprehensive overview of the ACDEG project on the first day, including presentations on Teachers' Guides and Students' Manuals, along with the methodology for the subsequent collaborative working days. ECES' Executive Director, Fabio Bargiacchi, highlighted the initiative's significance during his inaugural speech, emphasizing its role in shaping informed citizens from the grassroots up. “In the complex global democratic landscape, civic education emerged as a potent countermeasure to current challenges.”
The working groups were composed by 16 or 17 participants, who initially examined the materials, to them make observations and amendments around them. The first sessions were focus on the primary-level documents, then the same exercise was repeated with secondary-level documents, leading to the third and final day when collective insights were shared with all participants.
This Validation Meeting represented the culmination of a two-year process, reflecting the commitment of AU member states and stakeholders to instill democratic values through education, setting a milestone for civic education in African schools.