The role of the Uganda Human Rights Commission in promoting civic education: A case study of Mbarara and Moroto Districts
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This dissertation examines UHRC’s role in promoting Civic Education. It is a case study of what the institution has done in Mbarara and Moroto districts which also host two of its eight regional offices. The study covered the period between 2002 and 2009.The study acknowledges Civic Education as an essential element of formal and non- formal human rights education through which citizens can acquire knowledge and skills to participate in the affairs of their state effectively and responsibly. The study is premised on the fact that although the Commission has been constitutionally mandated to formulate, implement, and oversee programmes intended to inculcate in the citizens of Uganda awareness of their civic duties and responsibilities, and inspite of the fact that there are a host of other stakeholders involved in providing Civic Education, the level of civic awareness in the country still remains low. The study sets out to analyse the Commission’s Civic Education policies, laws and programmes on the one hand, and assesses the extent to which they promote Civic Education, the challenges it faces in carrying out this role and make recommendations for improvement on the other hand. The study also looks at other players doing similar work in the respective districts and examines the human rights commissions of Ghana, Kenya and South Africa for purposes of learning some of their best practices. Qualitative data analysis research strategy was used and data was collected through the use of questionnaires, internet, published reports including newspapers. This dissertation asserts that there can be no meaningful development if people are not civically aware of their rights and responsibilities. The study found that despite the Commission’s efforts, the level of civic awareness in the two districts still leaves a lot to be desired especially in Moroto district, which was attributed to the Commission’s limited resources and high illiteracy rates among others. Top on the study’s recommendations is the need to make the Commission financially stable in order to enhance its independence and the need to have a detailed curriculum on Civic Education to ensure that Civic Education messages are well coordinated and are presented in a holistic manner which would ultimately improve the level of civic awareness in the country.