— Algis Mickūnas, Uneducated society may not be political, that is, democratic.
Civil Society Institute (CSI) is launching the Civic Self-Education Programme for the Adults named Civitas. The objective of the programme is to contribute to the enhancement of the Lithuanian civil society by promoting adult self-education.
Background of the Project
Democracy and the well-being of the society existing in democratic environment largely rely on the civic and political literacy of people, on their efforts to self-explain and perceive the processes occurring in the society, and, finally, on their attitude and capability to take part in the public life wisely. The society requires profound understanding of public affairs to overcome the helplessness and independently participate in the building of the state, to avoid dismissal and voluntary indifference in respect to decisions significant to the common living but instead to influence them, to maintain a demanding civic dialogue with the authorities. The knowledge of this kind is vital in overcoming social enmity, rigorous segmentation of power and the ostracism of the majority of people beyond the margins of power.
At the moment, the average percentage of studying adults in the member states of the European Union is twice as big as that in Lithuania. The system of continued civic and political self-education of adults is not yet developed in Lithuania either. However, there already emerge successful civic initiatives that could be focused and merged to develop and expand the structure of adult civic self-education.
– to assist in expanding and then maintaining the forum of public political discussions throughout Lithuania;
– to expand rational and well-argumented civil dialogue;
– to strengthen democratic principles and values in public sector;
– to enhance the independence of the society and the powers of civic action, particularly in the Lithuanian province;
– to develop the network of adult civic self-education and lay foundation to the system of this education; and
– to contribute to the stability assurance of the political system and the development of more mature democratic order.
– the state, or civitas, is a community of citizens, which is a common affair of all citizens instead of the property of authorities;
– politics is the field of joint efforts of the citizens instead of exclusive politicians’ dominion;
– democratic order is developed and maintained by the citizens, therefore, it may not be introduced by anyone;
– democracy needs continuous dialogue of citizens, as well as continuous involvement of citizens in considering and managing state affairs; and
– civic dialogue requires tolerance, respect towards others’ opinions, openness to differing attitudes, consideration of differing arguments and civic responsibility.
– public discussions on relevant national and social issues aimed at local population are initiated and arranged in the Lithuanian province by the joint efforts of newly-founded Civitas clubs and Civil Society Institute as well as other organisations of similar profile; independent studies on this topic are promoted;
– Civitas clubs and other regional organisations involved in the programme choose action forms taking into account the needs and interests of the local people and their own activities;
– Civil Society Institute performs mediation function between the clubs and the specialists of the variety of fields bearing interest to the clubs: it identifies and offers potential lecturers, provides the clubs with required information, and aids the clubs in the exchange of information on the Website; and
– Civitas clubs may act as study circles and the organisers of civic self-education of the local communities and civil actions.
– Civitas clubs;
– Civil Society Institute;
– associated programme members: organisations conducting similar activities and having the same objectives; and
– experts of different fields, educational institutions.