President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday underscored the importance of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to Ghana’s development and pledged government’s preparedness to address its challenges so as to achieve its mandate.

He said though many had questioned the effectiveness of the Commission in the discharge of its duties, the NCCE, since its inception 25 years ago, had discharged its duties in helping Ghanaians to recognise the importance of their freedoms and duties, adding that it “can still do better”.

“I am of the different opinion…I believe the NCCE continues to be relevant, and still has an important role to play in helping establish a culture of awareness in which citizens are alive to their civic responsibilities.”

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he launched the First Edition of the Inter-University Quiz/Debate Championship, 2017 at the University of Ghana, Legon, on Wednesday.

The Championship, being put together by the NCCE under the theme: “Restoring our Ghanaian Values as Active Citizens,” aimed at testing the familiarity of students on the 1992 Constitution and promote good citizenship among in-school youth using electronic Constitution quiz competition.

The President said the increase in the budgetary allocation to the NCCE was an indication that his administration was committed to resourcing the Commission to achieve its mandate.

“Government will continue to address the logistical and financial needs of the Commission,” he said, and urged it to shed the perception that it works as an appendage of any political party.

“Your loyalties have to be to the Constitution of the Republic and the good people of Ghana, not any party,” he said. The President lauded the NCCE for organising the competition on the Constitution, which guarantees and protects individual freedoms and human rights and ensures that Ghana is governed according to the principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law.

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He said the contest should be not be about who emerges the winner, but “it should be about knowing why the Constitution came into force, why it provides guidelines for the functioning of the state.

“And, why, together, we must help ensure that the three arms of government, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, live up to their respective charters and act as checks and balances on each to prevent abuse of power and, thereby, help secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.”

President Akufo-Addo said it was incumbent on Ghanaians to know and understand the laws governing the country, and to jealously guard the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

He said the study of the Constitution should not be left to students of law and to lawyers alone and called on the citizenry to be conversant with the statutes of Ghana in order to articulate their views on human rights and civic responsibility.

The Championship is part of the Commission’s activities marking Ghana’s 60th Independence celebration. About 16 universities from the 10 regions of Ghana would take part in the First Edition of the competition.

The 1992 Constitution is the basic material for the contest. The programme will promote greater visibility and teaching and learning of the Fourth Republican Constitution, which embodies the hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh