Democratic education as a key factor for democratic development [Archives:2008/1195/Opinion]

October 2 2008

Ahmad Mohammed Abdulghani
Democratic education is indispensable for democratic development. It is impossible for democracy to develop or become deep-rooted without real democratic awareness. This kind of education is the essential frame that governs political culture, which is an integral part of the common culture of any society.

Democratic education is what individuals believe and establish regarding their relation with the political system of governance that administer their affairs. It also includes their relation with the legislative, legal and institutional systems, which should work on understanding political interactions and modify people's behavior within positive contexts, aimed at building society and achieving its aspirations for development, stability and progress.

Political culture covers democratic education at the public and official levels, as well as among ruling elites.

Yemen experiences slow spread of concepts and practices that help gather integrated democratic awareness because governments dominate public outreach means and control their outputs as a practical application of “Doorkeeper Theory”, which mass media students are taught.

The notable tragedy at the official level is that the ruling elites deal with democracy through stained culture and try to direct or manipulate democracy according to their desires.

The official address, given during the period of gubernatorial election in Yemen, was strong evidence of how the authority commits legal violations under the guise of democracy. Additionally, the government-owned media outlets adopted a false strategy to mislead people and draw their attention away from real facts on the ground.

The faked competition under the cover of governor election was meant to convince Yemeni people that their ruler is generous toward them, as he gave them a present (gubernatorial election), which was never offered by anyone before. Judicious citizens see this as nothing more than hypocrisy that glorifies oppression and prays for it under the cover of generosity.

Anyone, who observed the excessive flow of articles and analyses in this regard, will be shocked at how those, who produced them, dared to do so. Such analyses and descriptions confirm that Yemen has unique democratic achievements, which other countries worldwide, couldn't reach.

Exaggeration doesn't help

Exaggeration in producing such analyses made all those concerned with terminology and lexicology feel that they are in an urgent need to prepare a new lexicon in order to contain such terms and statements, which political organizations and experts felt unable to know about their components. Consequently, they will not benefit from them in construing international pacts, conventions and declarations regarding democracy and human rights.

Undoubtedly, all these exaggerated analyses progress in the context of deliberate confusion of correct concepts and meanings that are supposed to change into practical behavior, via which people can assess what happens before their eyes without any guardianship imposed on them from here or there.

The democratic culture is not slogans or sayings to be chanted by tongues. They are basically theoretical and practical rules and regulations, based on ethical themes within an integrated system, which is aimed at protecting human dignity.

Taking into consideration that freedom is bestowed on people by God, it constitutes the first theme, as well as the main gate for the sequence of other steps toward building strong democracy and driving forward the wheels of social development.

Concepts of public freedoms are bindingly related with basic human rights, plus the right to practice the various economic and political activities, and have access to psychological and social safety.

It is not possible to talk about the democratic education without confirming the principle of equality as a basic element for achieving real justice among members of society. Social justice, on the other hand, is indispensable for establishing equal citizenship, equal opportunities and abidance by law and order.