Published: 08th December 2021
Here's how students of this Hyderabad school run their day-to-day affairs via a mock parliament
Students of Kare School run a parliament out of the school hall and this is how it functions on a biweekly basis. This is how they do it
Kare School in Hyderabad's Old City is a country in itself that follows the tenants of democracy. Self-ruled by the students with elected representatives voted for amongst themselves, they have managed to bring about some significant changes as well. Their honourable Prime Minister is Safoora Siddiqua, a Class X student, who is assisted by a Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary. She heads a whole cabinet and is kept in check by the opposition and the speaker as well. After all, discussions and deliberations are the most important aspects of democracy. They conduct (mock) parliaments every Friday — well post-pandemic it's become once in two weeks. This is how these proceedings began...
The teachers at the humble Kare School already have their hands full, so organising learning activities was becoming a task and Safoora made note of this fact. Until an idea started to brew in her head. The 15-year-old shares her thought process, "School time is precious. In college, we need to showcase our talent and school is where we need to work on it." So the students decided to step in and discuss the idea with Teach For India fellows deployed in their school, who were very enthused by the idea too. And after the school management approved it, they got the ball rolling too.
Campaigning and elections, that's what followed. All senior students from the school, which has Classes I to X, who wished to contest were interviewed by teachers and those who qualified went on to contest. And that's how 40 students took on various cabinet positions, including ministers of various cabinets like Education and Human Resource Development. The procedure they follow is that the ruling party creates reports on the day-to-day happenings of the school. For example, how much of the syllabus was completed, checking notes, deciding on an event and more. The ruling party keeps a check and asks relevant questions while the speaker maintains the decorum of the house, just like it goes in the Indian Parliament.
What have they managed to achieve so far? Well, first was the dysfunctional water tank. In 2019, an uncooperative water tank at school was the bane of everyone's existence. So they decided to bring the topic to the table and think about how action can be fast-tracked. "We submitted a letter with our suggestions to the Principal and after a few days, the problem was resolved," says Safoora. They even came to a consensus with regards to the Children's Day programme they hosted and, accordingly, that one group of children would put up a skit on junk food and another set would give speeches on various topics. They even managed to make the borrowing system in the library a little more organised by urging the management to maintain a register of books borrowed and returned. "Everything that is passed is presented in the form of law and the written document itself has the signatures of the president, PM, ruling and opposition party leaders," she shares.
And this is how the country within a country, that is Kare School, runs.