Are children citizens?
Are children citizens? Should they be? Do they understand complicated and abstract concepts of a
political nature? What possible contribution to issues related to politics can children make? These
are a few of the questions I encountered when discussing the topic of children and citizenship with
people in general. Contradictory to these questions, politicians and educationalists maintains that the
youth can play a role in sustaining the new South African democracy (Scholtz, 1999; Department of
Education, 2001a). There is a growing realization that nation-states require their citizens to adopt a
shared sense of nationhood as a prerequisite for the democratic and successful functioning of their
state (Wilde, 2005:7-11).