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Enhancing secondary school students’ civic participation through mock elections

Enhancing secondary school students’ civic participation through mock elections project is implemented with support from Voice. The project aims at empowering secondary school students with civic education through mock elections as a tool to enhance their civic participation in Uganda.

The project seeks specifically to;-

  1. Empower students with the political, civic and voter knowledge and capacity by providing an opportunity to stand as electoral candidates, speech writers, and election observers in a mock election by March 2021.
  2. Provide students the platform to engage in active citizenship through providing the technicalities and issues involved in an election by March 2021.

The project is  implemented in Kampala City in 3 secondary schools;- The first school is a girls’ school to with to ensure gender equality, the second school is for young persons with disabilities to ensure disability inclusion and mainstreaming while the third school is a mixed school with both girls and boys, those with and those without disabilities.

The project explores new dynamic ways to introduce students to the concepts of citizenship in the earliest pre-voting eligible age through mock elections.

The Mock Elections take on the format of an election organized for educational or transformative purposes. Mock elections are organized by secondary schools to introduce the students to the different ideals and conceptions of democracy before they become eligible to vote. The elections are designed to give the students a better understanding of democratic institutions like local government, electoral commission, police, civil society among others and help prepare them for their role as voters and potential political candidates.

The project is non-partisan but educational aimed at teaching students to be informed voters. The project design is adopted from the country’s national voting system and procedures where students vote on real ballot measures, on real candidates, and on real ballot paper in the Mock Election.

The project incorporates the element of mentorship targeting the school prefects and other students who have passion for leadership who are continuously mentored on tenants of democracy and traits of being good leaders as well as empower them to be ambassadors for others to emulate.

The project also runs school based election campaigns targeting the rest of the school community and outside community to include girls and boys, parents and leaders with the intention of creating more awareness on civic and voter education. Through this project, the concept of election observing is introduced and strengthened to enable and empower the students to know the importance of protecting their votes until the winner is or has been announced.

The project empowers and positions the female students to participate and take on leadership positions with the long-term goal of preparing and building their confidence to be able to contest for elective positions in their adult life. It enhances the capacity of the girls to express their views themselves and be particularly interested in the political and electoral process. As their capacities develop, the students propose action plans as a way of empowering them as they become transformed into leaders and active participants in the democratic processes of the country of their generation.