Demystifying the Underpinning Role of Civics and Ethical Education on Freshman Students’ Engagement in Democratic Principles: The Case of Dire Dawa University, Ethiopia

Teferi Mengistu


The aim of the present study was to ascertain the extent to which the teaching of Civic and Ethical Education enables students to engage in key democratic principles of Ethiopia.  To this purpose, the study adopted descriptive survey design. The target population for this study was freshman students taking Civics and Ethical Education (CEE) course in Dire Dawa University in 2016/2017 academic year. A sample of 113 freshman students who took CEE course were selected from total of 872 freshman students using simple random sampling method. Students’ disposition towards democratic principles was examined using ten items and the reliability of items was found to be Cronbach’s alpha of 0.872. Likewise, items used to examine students’ experience in struggling against violation of democratic principles had reliability coefficient alpha of 0.863. One-sample t-test analysis was made using SPSS 20. Freshman university students have had good disposition to democratic principles and good experience of struggling against violation of these principles. However, students’ had low participation in the election of regional and national representatives and in community meetings. These findings suggest that freshman students do not exercise their democratic right of voting, and fail to participate in community meetings.

Keywords: Civic learning, democratic principles, equality, civic disposition

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