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In today’s class, we will be talking about the goals of citizenship education. Enjoy the class!

Goals of Citizenship Education

Citizenship Education. | ClassNotes.ng

Meaning of Citizenship

Citizenship is the legal right of a person to belong to a country and to enjoy full right in a state, community or society and who in turn perform certain duties and obligations to the state. It is a state of being vested with the rights, privileges and duties of a state. Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or part of a nation.

Put simply, citizenship is the right which every citizen has to belong to a state or a country. Citizenship basically entails rights and duties. For a citizen to enjoy his/her rights, he/she must perform some certain duties and obligation to the state. In the same vein, the state must guarantee and protect the rights of its citizens once their duties are discharged.

Who is a Citizen?

A citizen is a legal member of a community, state or a country with full rights. He enjoys certain rights and privileges while he owes the states certain duties to perform. In other words, a citizen can be said to be a national who possesses political and legal rights. He performs his duties and owes allegiance to the government of the state. He/she is entitled to protection by the state in which he/she resides

What is Citizenship Education?

Citizenship education is a process of enlightening or training citizens on their rights and responsibilities. It is a form of education given to citizens with a view to making them responsible individuals who are committed to the meaningful development of their societies. Also, it is a type of education which instils desirable values, attitudes, skills and knowledge into individuals to enable them to participate in the affairs of their group or adjust functionally as good citizens.

Goals of citizenship education
  • To balance regional and cultural diversity with national unity
  • To eliminate inequalities related to race, gender, age, class, and ethnicity
  • To ensure the successful functioning of the economy
  • To equip young people to deal with situations of conflict and controversy knowledgeably and tolerantly.
  • To understand the consequences of their actions and those of the adults around them.
  • To recognize bias, evaluate an argument, weigh evidence, look for alternative interpretations, viewpoints and sources of evidence.
  • To give good reasons for the things they say and do, and to expect good reasons to be given by others.
  • To builds character and develops, such as communication, initiative, social interaction and teamwork the soft skills that employers are crying out for.
Qualifications/Processes for Citizenship

These are qualifications or conditions an individual has to satisfy before he/she could become a citizen of another country. However, these conditions are not the same in countries.

Here are some of the qualifications.

  • Statutory age. For Nigeria, the person must have attained the age of 18.
  • Good character and conduct
  • Residence (duration and acceptability). For Nigeria, the person must have lived in Nigeria continuously for a period of fifteen years.
  • Acceptable to the local community where he/she lives.
  • The person must have made/capable of making useful contributions to the advancement/progress and wellbeing of Nigeria.
  • The person must neither be a security risk nor a threat to the peace and order of the country.
  • The person must be ready to renounce his/her previous citizenship. No clause for dual citizenship.
  • Making contributions towards the progress of the country
  • The willingness to live and stay
  • No past criminal record.
  • Taking the oath of allegiance to be faithful and loyal to the government and people of the country.
Ways of acquiring citizenship

Each country has its own policies, regulations and criteria as to who is entitled to its citizenship. A person can be recognized or granted citizenship on a number of bases. In other words, the acquisition of citizenship varies from place to place.

In Nigeria, citizenship can be acquired through a number of ways. According to Section 28 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), a person can acquire citizenship through the following

  • Citizenship by Birth– This means that the parents of a person are native to a country or a person born by citizens of a country.
  • Citizenship by Registration– When a citizen marries a foreigner or alien, then she becomes a citizen through marriage.
  • Citizenship by NaturalizationBy this method, an alien or foreigner may apply to be considered as a citizen of Nigeria if he/she satisfies the basic legal requirements.
  • Citizenship by DescentThis entails that if a child is born in a particular community or country, he/she does not assume the status of citizenship of that country if the parents are foreigners. But if the parents or grandparents are original citizens of that country, then he/she is a citizen.
  • Citizenship by AdoptionThis is citizenship acquired through adoption. For instance, a non-citizen child can be made a citizen through the process of adoption when all the necessary conditions are fulfilled.
  • Citizenship by FoundingIf an abandoned infant is found whose parents cannot be traced he/she may be accorded citizenship.
  • Citizenship by Honourary GesturesCitizenship may be bestowed on a foreigner or alien in recognition of his/her contributions to the development of his/her host country.

Rights of citizens

Rights may be defined as certain privileges that every citizen enjoys in a country, irrespective of sex, tribe, and creed. Rights are a just claim which is due to a person as a human person. These rights are natural, civil, political and legal. These rights remain privileges only as long as the state recognizes and protects them.

These rights are specified in a mostly written constitution commonly referred to as Fundamental Human Rights. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that its citizens enjoy these rights.

These rights include:

  1. The right to life, security and protection of the law and undisturbed access to the court of law
  2. Freedom and protection from slavery and forced labour.
  3. Right to ownership of property and protection from deprivation of property.
  4. The right to vote and be voted for in any political election.
  5. Freedom of joining and forming any political association.
  6. Freedom of movement without any restraints.
  7. Right to education.
  8. Freedom from unlawful detention, arrest and torture.
  9. Freedom of expression and of the press.
  10. The right to a fair hearing.
  11. Freedom of conscience, thoughts and of religion.
  12. Right to work and receive commensurate compensation.

Characteristics of human rights

  • Human rights are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each person.
  • Human rights are universal, meaning that they are applied equally and without discrimination to all people.
  • Human rights are inalienable, in that no one can have his or her human rights taken away other than in specific situations- for example, the right to liberty can be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law.
  • Human rights are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent, for the reason that it is insufficient to respect some human rights and not others. In practice, the violation of one right will often affect the respect of several other rights. All human rights should therefore be seen as having equal importance and of being equally essential to respect for the dignity and worth of every person.
Duties and obligation of citizens
  • Payment of taxes
  • Obedience to law
  • Voting at elections
  • Detection and prevention of crimes
  • Rights of another individual
  • Enlistment
  • National symbols
  • National service
  • Loyalty
Local and world civic problems

Civic problems are activities which put society at risk and make life and properties unsafe. Such problems need to be effectively managed by the government before violence breaks out. Below are the major civic problems confronting society.

  • Political and Electioneering Conflicts
  • Corruption
  • Natural Disaster such as flood, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption etc.
  • Terrorism
  • Cultism
  • Organized Crimes
  • Ethno-Religious Crises
  • Crime
  • Political assassination
  • Poverty
  • Natural disaster
  • Thuggery
  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Inequality
  • Racial discrimination
  • The high child mortality rate
  • High unemployment rate
  • Tribalism
  • Domestic Violence
  • The vandalisation of government properties
  • Diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Corona Virus, etc.
  • Overpopulation
  • Examination malpractices
  • Political apathy
  • Bad roads
  • Human trafficking
  • Illiteracy/Ignorance
  • Power failure
  • Waterlogged
  • Blocked drainage system
  • Traffic jam
  • Ocean encroachment
  • Pollution
  • Erosion
  • Internal Displacement/refugees
  • Indiscriminate parking of trucks/oil tankers along major roads
  • Climate change
  • Drug trafficking
  • Oil bunking
  • Flooding
  • Illegal mining/sand winning
  • Irresponsible parenting
  • Bad governance
  • Deforestation
  • Unemployment
  • Indiscriminate bush burning
  • Child abuse/labour
  • Poor waste disposal
  • Desert encroachment
  • Nepotism/favouritism


In our next class, we will be talking more about the Goals of Citizenship Education.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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