When John Dewey in 1917 first came up with the concept of Student Council in his work Democracy and Education, he postulated the concepts of leadership and democracy to education and academic environment.
How far have we come? Last April, when the project of the new Student Council was being launched, one student approached me to enquire how she could apply. After explaining to her how to apply, out of mere curiosity, I asked “Why do you want to be in our Student Council?”, to which she answered, “I want to help to lead in order to inspire”. This simple answer made me realise that John Dewey’s vision was more real than ever. I felt humbled and knew then that our young men and women were more than ready, willing even to challenge, lead and inspire their peers. If this is not the very definition of democracy, what is it, then?
At NAISAK, we are in the unique position of taking advantage of a melting pot of cultures, experiences and added values that our student cohort offers. Students are part of the stakeholder trinity in a school and often the least heard. Well, we, here at NAISAK, once more are moving forward, giving our student body not only a voice to be heard, but the opportunity to collaborate in bringing our school and community further and further into the future.
The students who compose the Secondary School Council are: Aaeima Nadeem, Vanshi Pathak, Qashiratu Tarfi, Noor Al-Muhannadi, Atin Singh, Shakeel Ahamed, Syeda Rizvi, Juando Simarmata, Maymona Mustafa, Evelyn Naibaho, Zainab Shahzad, Sarah Mendoza and Mahasre Kumar.
Whether regarding Teaching and Learning, School Life, or Community projects, both local and through our Nord Anglia Education sisterhood of schools, new projects are on the pipeline.
But NAISAK’s Student Council is not a mere extracurricular activity. It is rather a vehicle for active participation in our school’s governance, working actively with our Senior Leadership Team in order to continue to lay the ground to a better, happier and safer school. How? Listening to the student voice that they represent and serving as a vessel of communication between students and SLT.
Monthly, our Student Council President, Vice President and Secretary meet with our Principal, Mrs Lamb, in order to discuss all aspects relevant to our school and provide the vox populi of our student population. This open line of communication is paradigmatic of how valued our youngsters are and how much we, at NAISAK, value them.
Learning about Democracy and using our voices to make positive changes in our community can never start too early. Our Primary Student Council will be open to children from Years 2 to 6 and we will be holding elections over the next couple of weeks. If your child is a confident communicator, please encourage them to apply. Each class will elect one Student Council member to represent them on the Council.
Our Year 6 Student Council members will have a particularly important role as not only will they take turns to act as Chairperson and Secretary of the meetings, they will also support our youngest Council members in reporting back to their classes. Additionally, they will provide a link between the Primary and Secondary School Councils. This is a fantastic leadership opportunity that will form a key step towards readiness for Secondary School. I very much look forward to our first meeting as a Primary School Council and involving the school community in what we achieve.
At NAISAK, we are working together with our Student Council towards expanding our horizons, to challenge the canons of what student governance is, and to expand and increase the role of our students in our school life.
Deputy Head of Primary
Hugo Pedro Queiros
Secondary Lead Teacher for Humanities