If you’ve been following the school blog and facebook page for a while, you might remember that tightly contested elections were held in Shishuvan in the month of April. Candidates put posters, canvased across classrooms and some even took to Social Media to garner votes.
Well, the votes were tallied up and the final allocation of offices and posts has been taken care of. Last week, the investiture ceremony of the new council was held and all office bearers took their oath and were sworn in.
Hriday Chheda and Yashvi Gada are the Prime Ministers of the school and took some time out of their busy day to talk to the school blog about how they campaigned, what they’d like to do as Prime Minister and balancing academics and their new job.
“I knew in 9th standard that I would stand for elections. Poojan and Aashna (Prime Ministers, 2013-2014) were great role models. They balanced their school work, extra and co-curricular activities with their parliamentary duties really well. They really inspired me” shared Hriday.
Hriday began to lay the foundation for his campaign early on, and started off by getting to know the students and letting them get to know the kind of person he was.
Yashvi and Hriday were both Cultural Ministers in Standard 9, something they felt helped when they were campaigning.
“The Cultural Ministry is pretty high profile, and has high visibility. A lot of the work we did last year was there on stage for everyone to see. So the students already saw a lot of the work we had done. They knew us.” Says Yashvi “ I started laying the ground work for my campaign half way through 9th standard.”
Hriday, it should be noted did a lot of his campaigning on Facebook “I think it’s the first time, any one has used Facebook to campaign in Shishuvan” he adds.
I asked them what kind of promises they made when they were campaigning to get their foot through the front door.
“None” is the prompt reply from both of them.
“I never promised anyone anything. No one was told I would give them a specific portfolio if they voted for me. Plus, people know that kind of stuff won’t even work with me. So no one ever came and asked” Hriday says.
Both Yashvi and Hriday insist that the parliament and council and their place in the school is completely democratic.
“There’s no hierarchy and no formality.”
I asked them what their plans are for the school.
“I’d like to see quicker turnaround times when it comes to solving problems. Last year some issues took forever to get resolved. We need to see more leadership training for the council members.” says Yashvi.
“I’d also like to see the whole school integrated somehow. The parliament is of the students, by the students and for the students. It’s meant to be there for all the students of the school. But I think we need to find ways to involve the primary department and the middle school. Especially the Middle School and High School Representatives need to feel more empowered and given a more prominent role. They need to feel proud to be reps” adds Hriday.
Before Hriday and Yashvi head out to tackle the day, I asked them if they had any out of the world wishes?
“Wi-fi for the students and being allowed to learn on tablets or laptops so we can carry less books… it’s an endless list really” they grin.
The Prime Ministers and Deputy Speaker, Fenny Kenia were introduced to the Parents’ Sabha at the Sabha’s first meeting of 2014-2015. Director of Shishuvan, Neha Chheda reminded them that they would have to come back to the Sabha and present their agenda for the year.
Here’s wishing the Student’s Council all the very best for the year!