Student elections are very important part of a student's life. It is an introduction and demonstration of power of democracy to students, early in their life. Many politicians consider student elections to be the training ground for future politicians, leaders, and statesmen.
There are more than 15 lakh schools and more than 50,000 colleges in India. All schools and colleges encourage students to learn leadership and promotes internal democracy among students. Therefore, all schools and colleges have some kind of elections or representative selection mechanism. Some schools and colleges might have very limited democracy while others like Delhi University have very involved and celebrated election system and have groomed many top leaders of today.
Across schools and colleges, student elections are required for various purpose. These include:
In schools it is very common to elect class monitor in each class. At times, the class monitor is nominated by the class teacher. In many schools the students are allowed to select their own representative after voting among themselves. Similarly, in college and other institution, appointing of class representative through democratic process of voting is a standard process.
Most schools have the concept of electing head boy or head girl from among the students of the senior class. The students across all classes are generally allowed to vote in the election of head boy or head girl. Many schools and colleges have a complete student parliament elected via voting process. This is done by schools to give students a better understanding of democracy and its benefits and challenges.
Most schools and colleges have various sports and other teams. The teams have to elect their own leader or captain. Generally, the election of captain is done by the students themselves. In some schools, the captain is nominated by the teachers.
Most schools have an active Parents Teachers Association (PTA) which has representatives of parents and teachers. The PTA is responsible for structured communication between teachers and parents and to ensure better functioning of school and its activities. The parent representatives are generally elected from among the parents via a voting process. Tenue of PTA is generally one year. Every year fresh representatives are elected. PTA generally are two level. The senior level is responsible for overall school activities. There is also a group of class representatives who focus on activities of specific class or standard.
Most colleges have a very active elected student body to look after the activities of students. The student body generally includes post like President, Vice President, General Secretary, Treasurer and various other committee members. There might be specific elected representative for specific role. For example – academics, sports, infrastructure, media, annual fest etc. The elected body of students are entrusted with the responsibility of protecting and promoting interest of students, organizing various student activities and represent students in meetings with college management and others.
In a college, each department have a separate elected body to take care of the department activities. Unlike college elections, only students of specific departments are allowed to vote in department election.
All schools and colleges have various student activity group or interest groups. These include debating society, drama society, various sports societies, media society, writer's club etc. These interest groups have separate management committee elected from among the members of that specific society.
Hotel life is an important and most memorable part of any student's life. The hotel life is made even more memorable because hostel is a place where students run the complete show and there is negligible or limited interference of parents and teachers in the hostel management. For the first time in their life, students learn to govern their own environment. Representatives for various activities are elected by the students from among themselves. There would be representatives for mess, transportation, building infrastructure, sports, cultural activities etc apart from president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
Many colleges and universities have a very active teachers' association which again requires elections. The teachers' association is responsible to protect and promote the interest of the teachers. They represent the teachers in meetings with college management and student bodies. Delhi university has a very active teachers' association called Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA)
Apart from college elections, all students from all colleges also get to vote in the election at university level. The university level student body is responsible for promoting and protecting students' interest at university level. They act as the students' representative in meeting with vice chancellor of the university and university management. The student representative gets a say in policy matters governing the university.
All schools and colleges have their alumni base. Older the school, bigger and more powerful is the alumni base. The alums of big and reputed schools and colleges are found in important and powerful positions across the world. Hence, all institutes try to stay in touch with their alumni base and involve them more and more in institutes activities. Alumni are generally first port of call for corporate connect, placements and donations. Most institute form an alumni association which is supported by the institute but run and managed by the alums themselves through elected representatives. The alumni association posts are generally very prestigious posts as it provides very good networking opportunities and opens up many important doors.
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