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Makini teaching democracy with student polls

A beaming Daniela Wairimu was confident her comrades would pick her as the Head Girl. Photo/ MIKE KARIUKI

A beaming Daniela Wairimu was confident her comrades would pick her as the Head Girl. Photo/ MIKE KARIUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Makini Schools has implemented a new policy of letting students choose leaders of their own choice instead of being appointed by the teachers.

It is a democratic process that was exercised mid morning on Tuesday by pupils in the lower class on State House Road before embarking on their class work.

According to the headmistress Catherine Njuguna the pupils were excited and eagerly waiting for the election day.

“We told them to come out after tea… it was a secret ballot so they lined up and voted,” she said.

And just like any other elections, the candidates were allowed to campaign for one-and-a-half weeks for the various positions they thought they would qualify and make great leaders in.

“The children chose what they wanted because they know where they are talented in various areas; they all came up with ideas on what they will do once elected and told the rest of the school,” Njuguna explained.

The campaigns were only conducted during tea and lunch breaks to avoid interfering with academic activities and other school work. Some of the candidates went ahead and recruited campaigning teams to manage them and in the process got a lot of support from the teachers and their parents.

“The kids went back home and involved their parents and came up with this beautiful fliers and posters for the kids,” said Njuguna. “We gave them time and guidelines to campaign and told them if they wanted to print papers and show us what they have or a parade we will support but the class teachers helped because they were the ones giving directions on what they (candidates) were expected to do,” The deputy headmistress Adeline Ingosi told Capital FM News.

“The IT department also came on board by helping the students in printing the photos that were being displayed everywhere in school,” she added.

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It wasn’t an easy task for the teachers as well and they faced a challenge during the election process.

“There were no cases of rigging but there was one candidate whose name was not printed on the ballot paper but as soon as we realized the mistake we rectified immediately.”

The candidates, who are awaiting results to be announced on Friday, were confident of their chances and their abilities.

“I think I will make a good head girl because I would like to lead the school, I will be good to them and won’t put them in trouble,” said Daniela Wairimu, a standard four pupil.

“I want to become the next head boy so that I can help the teachers. If I get elected I will make sure that the students carry snacks on Wednesday and Thursday, also make sure that the school compound is clean and there is no bullying in school,” pledged Peter Gatamu, also a standard four pupil.

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