Civic Education Paper 2 May/June

Question 7

Highlight five roles civil society can play in promoting popular participation.


This was another unpopular question. The very few candidates who attempted performed poorly as they did not show good understanding of the concept of ‘civil society’ and therefore failed to highlight the roles civil society organizations can play in promoting popular participation. The candidates were expected to provide the following answers to the question:

Civil society organizations:

  1. check the excesses of political leaders and state officials;
  2. mobilize citizens for popular participation in politics;
  3. pursue the enforcement of fundamental human rights;
  4. educate citizens to develop positive values in the society;
  5. make demand for social justice/clamour against injustice;
  6. inform the public on important national issues;
  7. strengthen harmonious relations in a multi-ethnic society;
  8. promote democracy by monitoring elections;
  9. help government in alleviating poverty by creating jobs or promoting youth empowerment;
  10. educate people about their rights, duties and obligations;
  11. generate informed discourse on issues of public interest;
  12. promote democratic values such as tolerance, respect for opposing views etc.;
  13. act as voice for the voiceless and defend the vulnerable in societies;
  14. mediate and help to resolve conflicts in societies;
  15. act as agents of social change;
  16. promote good governance in society; and
  17. develop citizens’ skills to cooperate/collaborate for societal problem-solving.