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Civic Education in Action: Hands-On Exploration of Social Injustice Through Budget Profiles

As educators we understand the need to inform our learners about social issues and to empower them to bring a change in society. In continuation of our civic education classes, we moved on to our next session on the complexity of a real-world issue through hands-on activity called Budget Profiles.

The two main learning objectives were - financial literacy and addressing social injustice. We also wanted our learners to develop empathy and critical thinking through purposeful experiences.

Each team was assigned different job profiles from various socioeconomic backgrounds prevalent in our society. These profiles reflected the challenges faced by people in poverty, including low income, limited resources, and difficult financial circumstances. The children were asked to allocate their income under the various items of expenditure - rent, utilities, education healthcare, transportation, entertainment and other items as applicable.

The children struggled to accommodate the needs within the earnings and some of them were surprised to learn how much their family spent on food while there were people who spent a fraction of it for all their monthly expenses. They gained firsthand experience of the challenges faced by individuals living in poverty and how difficult it must be to navigate through everyday tasks and challenges.They got a grasp on poverty and its impact on individuals and communities highlighting the systemic factors that contribute to poverty and social inequality.

Post-activity class discussions were conducted to explore the challenges and disparities children encountered during the budgeting process and to delve into the root causes of social injustice. Children feel empowered to use their voices if they can take action against poverty.

As our children engaged in critical analysis of the root causes of social injustice, such as income inequality and systemic discrimination, it fostered a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by marginalised communities. This would inspire children to work towards a fairer society.

By addressing issues of social injustice in the classroom, we equip learners with the tools to advocate for change in their communities and elevate classroom learning by fostering a sense of purpose in education.


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