According to Freedom House, less than half of the world's population now live in countries classified as free - a trend that some scholars have described as a global democratic recession. Meanwhile, Tajikistan was ranked in the bottom-10 among 167 countries in terms of its state of democracy on the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2017 Democracy Index.
TajRupt's civic education initiative tackles the issue of low civic participation of the youth in Tajikistan by providing high school and university students access to a curriculum of activism courses. The courses aim at nurturing critical thinking skills among participants by combining theoretical learning with practical activities. The curriculum is delivered in English language in order to stimulate student exposure to alternative sources of information in a region where the news sphere is dominated by Russia's state-run media. Activism courses are structured into 10-week sessions at the ERC, with competitive enrollment open to students in an after-school setting free of charge.
The 10-week civic education curriculum focuses on four thematic areas:
Data analysis of student surveys is at the core of our model. Here are some of the highlights:
students who completed erc activism courses experienced a change in their viewpoint.
9 in 10
of graduates would recommend enrollment in erc activism courses to a friend.
somoni - equivalent to 15% of monthly wage - is the reported value-added from free erc services to the students.