Updated: April 9, 2019 11:20:13 am
Every year, schools across India conduct elections where the head students, deputies and class representatives are chosen. Here’s how your child can conduct elections to select their school’s student leaders, just like the country selects its political leaders.
WHAT YOU NEED
⦁ Teachers’ Election Committee comprising three to five teachers and the principal
⦁ Candidates for each post
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- Room to conduct elections
- Ballot box
- Ballot papers
- Voters’ list
- Indelible ink or marker
PHASE I: ANNOUNCING ELECTIONS AND FILING NOMINATIONS
- To begin, the principal of the school must announce a date for the elections, the last date for filing nomination papers and the names of the members of the ‘Teachers’ Election Committee’ that will oversee the election processes.
- The committee can ask the school’s communication department (school magazine, newspaper, website department or cultural desk) to design posters that can be put up on the school notice boards. The posters should call on interested candidates to submit their nominations along with an essay on why they want to stand for a given post along with a symbol for themselves. The poster should also include eligibility criteria for candidates, such as academic record, minimum age/class and other requirements.
- Candidates must also submit at least 20 signatures of students supporting them.
- The school reporters—those working on the school publication or website—can get involved by creating profiles of the nominees, which can be published for all to read.
PHASE II: CAMPAIGNING
Approved candidates can create their manifesto and placards that inform the voting classes of their symbol and why they are the best candidates.
Candidates and their supporters can also go from class to class canvassing for votes on a pre-fixed day and time.
PHASE III: GETTING READY TO VOTE
- The Teachers’ Election Committee, along with a couple of student representatives, must draw up a list of student voters with their roll numbers from class registers.
- They can also design ballot papers based on the number of candidates. These must be printed depending on the number of student voters in the school.
- A ballot box can be created from an old cardboard box. A slit must be carved on the top so ballot papers can be pushed in.
- A specific room in the school, like the library, can be set up for election day. The room should have two doors, so that the entry and exit can be marked out separately.
PHASE IV: ELECTION DAY
- The designated room for the elections must be staffed with three to four teachers on one side, who check the students’ roll numbers and mark their finger with ink.
- The ballot box must be placed at the far corner of the room.
- Once the room is set up, students can be sent for voting class-wise.
- No more than three students should be allowed simultaneously within the room where the elections are being held.
- Each student must first go to Teacher 1 with their identification card. This must be validated and the name struck off the student voters’ list.
- Next, the student must present their identification card to Teacher 2, who has a similar voters’ list. Again, the teacher will strike the name off the list. This is done to ensure a student does not vote twice.
- The student then moves to Teacher 3, who must mark the student’s left forefinger with ink.
- Teacher 4 can give the student a ballot paper and lead them to the ballot box.
- In the enclosed ballot-box area, the student can mark their vote on the ballot paper with a pen and push the paper into the ballot box.
- The student must then leave the room through the exit gate.
- School reporters must not be allowed to interview students or ask questions about the candidate they have voted for, as this is meant to be a secret ballot. However, they could conduct a separate poll to get a feel of the elections.
PHASE V: COUNTING DAY AND SWEARING IN
The Teachers’ Election Committee can count the votes and the winning candidate can be announced by the principal during assembly on a pre-decided date. The students that win the elections can be sworn in during assembly on a fixed day.
(Excerpted with permission from Elections in India: Everything You Need to Know by RobinAge, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.)
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