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CIVICS AND MORAL EDUCATION 2016/2017

hCIVICS AND MORAL EDUCATION.

CHAPTER ONE: CIVICS AND CITIZENSHIP

1.1.UNDERSTANDING CIVICS AND CITIZENSHIP.

A. Civics

Civics comes from a latin word civis which means citizen. This is the study of the rights and duties
of the citizen of a given country. Civics is the exploration of one’s rights and responsibilities as a
member of the society. The objective of this study is to:

- Civics informs people about the societies they live in and how they can interact with the
government
- Enable citizens (young professionals) to be good, honest, loyal, patriotic and committed to
principles.
- It is also aimed at developing love in one another and for the nation.
- It helps develop a spirit of nationhood and of being one another’s keeper in the context of a
community, nation or country.
- It also helps develop the nation of a shared destiny amongst citizens i.e that every individual
was born with an assignment, purpose or dream and that these should be discovered,
identified and pursued individually but within the context of the latter’s dream of the nation.
- This study can also guides the citizen against petit living as it would encourage them to live
for a higher calling that is bigger than them.

Such a study is quite relevant to a country like Cameroon with about 280 ethnic groups and about
300 different languages although the diversity of ethnic groups and languages can be an asset, most
Cameroonians think first of ethnic group before the nation. Sometimes, they see nothing good in
other groups that should bring them together. This kind of device attitude develops a spirit of ‘unlike
me’, ‘they are against us’ which hinders national unity and provides an atmosphere of intolerance
and a breathing ground for strikes and conflicts. Although we belong to different ethnic groups,
religion, political parties and speak different languages, we must first of all see ourselves as
belonging to one nation which has one destiny.

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Civic education will help individuals to understand one another and to understand other countries
from ours. We will know that although we share national boundaries with other countries, we are
interdependent and that we all share something in common. This can enable citizens to get in to
participate and contribute in the activities of the international community not just as passive
observers, but as actors.

B. Citizenship

A citizen is a person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that
country. He is one who lives in a particular place and entitled with the rights and privileges of a
freeman. He is a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to
protection from it.

I. How Citizenship is obtained

The primary methods for attaining Cameroon nationality: birth, marriage, and naturalization.
It can also be done through territorial acquisition. Of these, the foremost is birth, which
follows primarily a jus sanguis, descent-based definition of nationality. For determining
nationality through birth, Cameroonian law places a clear distinction between children born “in
marriage” (legitimate child) and those born “out of marriage” (illegitimate child). In all cases,
majority for purposes of nationality is not attained until the individual has reached 21 years.

(jus sanguis), while nationality conferred by location of birth (jus soli) is restricted to cases in
which the nationality of one or both parents is unknown or Cameroonian.

a. Nationality by Birth

The most straight forward method of becoming a Cameroon national is to be born to two parents,
both of whom are Cameroon nationals. Similarly, a child born legitimately to at least one parent
of Cameroon nationality is also eligible to claim Cameroon nationality. For a child born
illegitimately, Cameroon nationality is provided if the parent to whom connection is first
established is a Cameroon national, or, in the case that the first-established parent has no or
unknown nationality if the second-established parent has Cameroon nationality.

b. Nationality by Marriage

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At the time of marriage, a foreign woman may request and acquire Cameroon nationality if
marrying a Cameroonian man. However, this acquisition is subject to government approval as
the government may by decree prevent the acquisition of Cameroon nationality.

c. Nationality by Naturalization

Cameroon nationality may be acquired by foreign citizens who have met minimum
residency requirements within Cameroon (5 consecutive years), are judged to meet character
and health standards and whose “main interests” are based in Cameroon. This acquisition is
provided by government decree and as such is ultimately subject to government approval.

d. Nationality by Territorial Acquisition:

When the government of Cameroon gains additional territory to the already existing one, then the
inhabitants of the area newly acquired gain the nationality of Cameroon.

II. Loss and Forfeiture of Cameroonian Citizenship

There are three main ways by which Cameroon nationality can be lost or forfeited

- acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality, voluntary renunciation of


Cameroonian nationality, and government decree.

a. Acquisition of a Foreign Nationality

Any individual who willingly acquires the citizenship of another nation shall automatically lose
their Cameroonian nationality. Perhaps most prominently, this dictates that any Cameroonian
immigrant who becomes a naturalized citizen of a foreign country automatically loses their
Cameroonian nationality.

b. Renunciation of Nationality

Cameroon nationality law also allows for an individual of Cameroon nationality to willfully
renounce that nationality. The example provided in Law 1968-LF-3 is that of an individual
marrying a foreign person and so renouncing Cameroon citizenship in order to acquire
foreign citizenship through that marriage.

c. Government Decision

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Any Cameroonian may loss their nationality if he or she continues to work in an international or
foreign body despite an injunction by the Cameroonian Government to resign it. For
Cameroonian nationals who have gained that nationality through marriage or naturalization
within the previous 10 years, the government may revoke that nationality by decree if the
individual committed a criminal act against state security, or committed the even more broadly
defined charge of “acts harmful to the interest of the State”.

1.2.CONCEPTS RELATED TO CIVICS:

Civics and moral education is all about building positive relationships. However, the various areas
where these relationships are:

1. Moral Education:

It is the study of moral habits, standard of behavior and the principles of right and wrong. It teaches
us virtues like truthfulness and honesty in life, how to live in peace and harmony in our communities.

2. Justice:

This is a model for accountability and answerability which encourages fairness in the punishment
and remission of wrongs. It is the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes
and criminals. Justice means that the rights of the accussed are guaranteed. It also means that the
interest of the victim is protected and the wellbeing of the entire community is upheld. The notion of
justice is deeply rooted in all cultures and societies. The execution of justice demands formal
juridical mechanisms like the existence of the various courts.

Justice could mean giving each person his due. It is the quality of being just, righteousness,
equitableness, or moral rightness.

3. The rule of Law.

This is a fundamental theory of governance which indicates that all persons, private as well as public
institutions and the state itself are held responsible or answerable to laws that are publicly legislated
or promulgated according to international norms. The rule of law can also be termed the legal
principle that law should govern a nation and that no one is above the law.

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Rule of law could also mean the absolute predominance or supremacy of ordinary law of the land
over all citizens.

1.3.HUMAN QUALITIES, VALUES AND NORMS


1. Human Freedom:

It is the condition of being free from confinement and forced labour. It is an intrinsic good. It is good
when it allows us to do good things and bad when it leads us to do what is not correct. Liberty is a
necessary property for happiness. So individual as well as collective happiness requires liberty.

The principle of liberty is that individuals may do whatever they want to do so far as they do
not harm others. Should the state interfere in individual liberty, the state should be doing so when
individual liberty is likely to harm others. Liberty is a value grounded in the nature of humans as
progressive beings. It can be put to value to be used and it is also a necessary condition for the
personal self-development of human happiness.

CHAPTER TWO: ETHICS.

2.1.UNDERSTANDING ETHICS.

It deals with rules of behavior based on

It is a set of principles of right conduct, it can be termed a theory or a system of moral values. It is
also the philosophical study of the moral value of human conduct and of the rules and principles that
ought to govern it (met-ethics).

Ethics can be seen as a system or set of moral principles, the rules of conduct governing a particular
class of human action.

Ethics are moral beliefs and rules about right and wrong or it is the study of questions about what is
morally right or wrong.

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Ethics has to do with character, manner, behavior and morals. It is a set of beliefs which controls
behavior based on moral, in other words, it is the science of morals. It regulates behavior and fosters
relationship amongst fellow members. Ethics addresses issues such as how people should work
properly for maximum output.

Every profession should have a code of ethics that governs the behavior of its member’s i.e how
interaction with one another in the same profession and with the public is managed.

Ethics can be applied in various fields like journalism, Banking, Accounting, Management, etc.

2.2.SOURCES OR ORIGIN OF ETHICS.

In Western philosophy, there are generally three views as to the origin of ethics.

1. The Divine Command Theory of Ethics: It contends that ethics originates from God that
which God commands is arbitrary good and ethical.
2. The Theory of Forms: Put forward by Plato which holds that there is an independent form
outside God which is the absolute standard of morality and ethics?
3. The relativism Theory: it holds that all knowledge is relative to the individual, in this case,
there cannot be absolute morality. All ethics are relative to circumstances, people and
cultures. This view is problematic because taken to its logical conclusion, there is no such
thing as ethics at all.

2.3.RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MORALITY, LAW AND ETHICS.

Although all three seem alike, are sometimes totally different. The goal of all is aimed at building a
peaceful society.

Morality.

Simply put, it is the notion or the theory of right and good. It embodies a standard put in place to
direct and control moral behavior. Morality consists of an ideal situation.

In most communities, these sets of rules are considered standard even if they are not fully obeyed. It
is by these standards that our speech, behavior or actions are being evaluated as either good or bad.

Law:

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These are rules or decrees by which the society is governed. It is one of the ways through which the
different views and conflicting interests of members of the society are handled or channeled so as to
ensure a peaceful community. Several types of laws do exist, which include: divine law which
beliefs come from a supernatural being. Closely related to divine law is natural law which is believed
also stems from the divine law.

Ethics:

Are three dimensional. There is ethics which is simply the notion of right or wrong behavior. It is
basic morality for all members of the society. There is also ethics which is a discipline or science of
morality that constitutes a branch of philosophy. There is also ethics which is a special catalogue of
decently acceptable values or principles to which members of a given group, organization or a
profession must abide to. It is from this last part of ethics that professional ethics stems from.

- Law is similar to ethics in that both can trace their origin from a divine theory or divine form.
- They point out clear cut behavior which applies to a group of persons.

They however differ in that certain laws can be bad (immoral laws), while ethics can never be bad.

- Ethics also starts from where law ends

Ethics on the other hand is closer to morality given that part of ethics constitutes in a great manner
what is considered as ordinary morality.

2.4. CODE OF ETHICS

It is a written set of guidelines issued by an organization to its workers and management to help them
conduct their actions in accordance with its primary values and ethical standards. It can be termed a
guide of principles designed to help professionals conduct business honestly and with integrity. A
code of ethics document may outline the mission and values of the business or organization, how
professionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles based on the organization’s
core values and the standards to which the professional will be held.

2.5.PRINCIPLE OR CANNON OF ETHICS.

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1. Confidentiality:

A member shall not disclose or use any confidential information acquired as a result of his
professional or business relationships without proper or specific authority or except it’s a mandatory
disclosure (where disclosure is compelled by a process of law or statute).

2. Independence:

It requires independence of mind where the state of mind that permits the provision of an option
without being affected by influences that compromise professional judgment, allowing an
individual to act with integrity, and exercise objectivity and professional skepticism. A true
professional must be able to work independently without being influenced especially negatively. Like
an independent thinker, a true professional can listen to others, but makes his decisions without
allowing his external circumstances to make him/her do what is not in line with his/her professional
ethics.
3. Impartiality:

This is the ability of acting in fairness and without any bias with members of a given profession and
with the public. A true professional can never be biased especially based on ethnic affirmity. He acts
neutrally and can easily resolve conflicts.

4. Honesty:

A true professional is honest. He/she is a man/woman of integrity. The person means what he says
and says what he means. He keeps his promises and is loyal to his family, organization and country.
A true professional cannot have a double life especially between the public and the private.

5. Competence:

A true professional should exhibit a high sense and level of proficiency in his/her field. He/she is
more or less an authority in the field. A true professional never graduates in knowledge especially in
his/her field. He also knows his strength and limits in the field and will not refuse asking for help if
he needs it. A true professional will not accept a job when he knows he cannot perform the task.

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CHAPTER THREE: DEONTOLOGY.

3.1.DEFINITION

Deontology (deontological ethics) is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness
of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequence of those actions
(consequentialism) or to the character and habits of the actor (virtue ethics).

Thus to a deontologist, whether a situation is good or bad depends on whether the action that brought
it was right or wrong. What makes a choice ‘right’ is its conformity with a moral norm. Right takes
priority over good. A consequentialist would (or could) argue that the final state of affairs justified
the drastic actions. A virtue ethicist would concern himself with neither, but would look at whether
the perpetrator acted in accordance with worthy virtues.

Deontology may sometimes be consistent with moral absolutism (the belief that some actions are
wrong no matter what consequences follow from them), but not necessarily. For instance, it is argued
that it is always wrong to lie, even if a murderer is asking for the location of a potential victim. But
others hold that the consequences of an action such as lying may sometimes make laying the right
thing to do (moral relativism).

It is sometimes described as ‘duty-based’ or ‘obligation-based’ ethics, because deontologists believe


that ethical rules bind people to their duty. The term ‘deontology’ derives from a Greek word ‘deon’
meaning ‘obligation’ or ‘duty’, and ‘logos’ meaning ‘speaking’ or ‘study’, and was used this way in
1903, in the book ‘Five Types of Ethical Theory’. Simply put, deontology is the science that deals
with duty or the ‘science of duty’. It seeks to accomplish moral duties and obligations and to try to
strike a compromise when there is a conflict in duty or obligation

Modern deontological ethics was introduced in the 18th century with the theory of categorical
imperative. Imperative deontology is defined as any proposition that declares a certain action to be
necessary.

3.2.CRITICISM OF DEONTOLOGY.
- Some say it has become a paradox of deontology, that deontology forbids some acts that
maximize welfare overall.

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- Some writers criticize it that it is essentially a dressed-up version of popular morality, and
that the objectives and unchanging principles that deontologists attribute ti natural law are
really just a matter of subjective opinion.
- Deontologists usually fail to specify which principles should take priority when rights and
duties conflict, so that deontology cannot offer complete moral guidance.
3.3.TYPES OF DEONTOLOGY.
1. Divine Command Theory:

It is a form of deontological theory which states that an action is right, if God has decreed that it is
right, and that an act is obligatory if and only if it is commanded by God.

2. Natural Rights Theory:

The theory which holds that humans have absolute natural rights (in the sense of universal rights that
are inherent in the nature of ethics and not contingent on human actions or beliefs). The theory
originates with the concept of natural justice or natural rights of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The
development of this tradition of natural justice into one of natural law is usually attributed to what
we now refer to as human rights.

3. Contractarian ethics (or the moral theory of contractarianism):

Claims that moral norms derive their normative force from the idea of contract or mutual agreement.
It holds that moral acts are those that we would all agree to if we were unbiased and that moral rules
themselves are a sort of contract and therefore only people who understand and agree to the terms of
contract are bound by it. The theory stems from the principle of social contract which essentially
holds that people give up some rights to a government and or other authority in order to receive, or
jointly preserve social order.

4. Contractualism:

Is a variation on contractarianism, although based more on the ideas that ethics is an essentially
interpersonal matter, and that right and wrong are a matter of whether we can justify the action to
other people.

5. Pluralistic Deontology:

Is a description of a deontological ethics which argues that there are several duties which need to be
taken into consideration when deciding which duty should be acted upon.

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- Duty of beneficence ( to help other people increase their pleasure, improve their character).
- Duty of non-malfeasance ( to avoid harming other people)
- Duty of Justice (to ensure people get what they deserve)
- Duty of self-improvement ( to improve ourselves)
- Duty of reparation (to recompense someone if you have acted wrongly towards them)
- Duty of gratitude (to benefit people who have benefited you)
- Duty of promise-keeping (to act according to explicit and implicit promises, including the
implicit promise to tell the truth.

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CHAPTER FOUR: PROFESSIONALISM

4.1. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS:

It is essential to be a professional if you want to be a success. But what does professionalism really
mean?

For some, being professional might mean dressing smartly at work or doing a good job. For others,
being professional means having advanced decrees or other certifications, framed and hung on the
office wall. Professionalism encompasses all of these definitions but it also covers much more.

So what is professionalism and why does it matter? And how can you be completely professional in
your day-to-day role?

4.2. DEFINING PROFESSIONALISM.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines professionalism as ‘the conduct, aims, or qualities that
characterizes or marks a professional person’ and it defines a profession as a ‘calling requiring
specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation’.

These definitions imply that professionalism encompasses a number of different attributes and
together, these attributes identify and define a professional.

4.3. WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF A PROFESSIONAL?

1. Specialized knowledge:

First and foremost, professionals are known for their specialized knowledge. They have made a deep
personal commitment to develop and improve their skills, and where appropriate, they have the
degrees and certifications that serve as the foundation of this knowledge.

2. Competency:

Professionals get the job done. They are reliable and they keep their promises. If circumstances arise,
they prevent them from delivering on their promises, they manage expectations up front and they do
their best to make the situation right. Professionals don’t make excuses but focus on finding
solutions.

3. Honesty and integrity:

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Professionals exhibit qualities such as honesty and integrity. They keep their word and they can be
trusted implicitly because of this. They never compromise their values and will do the right thing
even when it means taking a harder road.

4. Humility:

True professionals are humble. If a project or job falls outside their scope of expertise, they are not
afraid to admit this. They immediately ask for help when they need it and they are willing to learn
from others.

5. Accountability:

Professionals hold themselves accountable for their thoughts, words and action, especially when they
have made a mistake. This personal accountability is closely tied to honesty and integrity and it’s a
vital element for professionalism.

6. Self-regulation.

They also stay professional under pressure. Genuine professionals show respect for the people
around them, no matter what their role or situation is. They exhibit a high degree of emotional
intelligence by considering the emotions and needs of others.

7. Image.

Professionals look the part that they don’t show up to work sloppily dressed, with unkempt hair.
They are polished and they dress appropriately. Because of this, they exude an air of confidence and
they gain respect for this.

4.4. HOW TO EXHIBIT PROFESSIONALISM.

As you can see from these characteristics, professionals are the kind of people that others respect and
value. They are a genuine credit to their organizations. That is why it’s so important that we work to
earn a professional reputation in the work place. True professionals are the first to be considered for
promotions, they are awarded valuable projects or clients, and they are routinely successful in their
careers.

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4.5. ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES THAT WILL HELP ONE TO BE MORE
PROFESSIONAL.

Build expertise and stay up-to-date with your industry, listen actively in order to develop your
emotional intelligence, honour your commitments, be polite, have the tools you need, manage your
time and plan so that you are always in control. Attend seminars to improve on your knowledge.

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CHAPTER FIVE: GOOD GOVERNANCE AND THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN
CAMEROON.

5.1.DEFINITION OF GOVERNANCE

The concept of "governance" is not new. It is as old as human civilization. Simply


put "governance" means: the process of decision-making and the process by
which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Governance can be used in
several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national
governance and local governance. Good governance has 8 major characteristics.
It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective
and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption
is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the
most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the
present and future needs of society.
5.2.PRINCIPLES OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
1. Participation

Participation by both men and women is a key cornerstone of good governance.


Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or
representatives. This means freedom of association and expression on the one hand and
an organized civil society on the other hand.

2. Transparency

Transparency means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that
follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available and directly
accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement.
3. Responsiveness
Good governance requires that institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders
within a reasonable timeframe.
4. Rule of law

Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also
requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities. Impartial

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enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible
police force.
5. Consensus oriented

There are several actors and as many viewpoints in a given society. Good governance
requires mediation of the different interests in society to reach a broad consensus in society on
what is in the best interest of the whole community and how this can be achieved.
6. Equity and inclusiveness

A society’s well-being depends on ensuring that all its members feel that they have a stake
in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. This requires all groups,
but particularly the most vulnerable, have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-
being.
7. Effectiveness and efficiency

Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs
of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. The concept of efficiency
in the context of good governance also covers the sustainable use of natural resources
and the protection of the environment.
8. Accountability

Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental


institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be
accountable to the public and to their institutional stake holders.

5.3. ACTORS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE.


Government, other actors involved in governance vary depending on the level
of government that is under discussion. In rural areas, for example, other actors may
include influential land lords, associations of peasant farmers, cooperatives,
NGOs, research institutes, religious leaders, finance institutions political
parties, the military.

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5.4. LAWS AND INSTITUTIONS PUT IN PLACE TO ENHANCE GOOD
GOVERNANCE AND FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION.

A. Institutions:
- Ministry of State Audit
- National Commission for the fight against corruption (CONAC)
- The last Great Ape Organization Cameroon (LAGA) fights corruption in the
area of wildlife
- National Agency for Financial Investigations (ANIF)
- ‘Operation sparrow Hark’ in French as ‘Operation Epervier’.
- The CHOC-Cameroon program (Change Habits, Opposes Corruption)
- SIGEPES at the public service
- SYDONIA
- Cameroon has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against
Corruption and has signed, but not ratified the African Union Convention on
Preventing and combating corruption.
B. LAWS:
- The constitution,
- the penal code which punishes those who corrupt,
- laws on decentralization
- The Electoral code,
- Investment code, e.t.c.
Despite the existence of all these, corruption is still alarming. So what can be done is
for Cameroonians to change their mentality?

N.B: Make an expose on environmental issues in the world.


Also make an expose on moral figures in the world, Africa and Cameroon.

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REVISION QUESTIONS:
1. What recommendations can you make for corruption to be curbed?
2. What are the rights and responsibilities of a citizen?
3. What is moral consciousness?
4. What mechanisms and measures have been put in place to protect the
environment?
5. Name some national as well as international moral figures

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