Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Election Day

Tuesday October 2nd 2012

I showered in the dark this morning.  The electricity went off about 3:00 a.m. and only came back on at dusk, so no computing today.  My Form III maths lesson was also disrupted because the group who had walked to Pangani yesterday were in bed, as they did not arrive back at school until 5:00 a.m. this morning.  I found out that the civic duty they took part in, was to act as tellers at a local party election and with over 7 000 voters in Pangani and a 75% turn out, this did not finish until the wee small hours.  Thankfully they got a lift back and didn’t have to walk the 5k home.

Elections must have been in the air because today was also the election for the Student Government.  At 12.30 desks were carried into the school ‘hall’ and the members of Forms I, II and III congregated to elect the prefects and Head Boy/Girl for 2012/13.  Over the last two weeks, forms have been available for pupils to recommend themselves or their friends for the various tasks.  These have been vetted by a group of staff including the head, deputy and Mr Mmari, who is responsible for discipline and organised the election.  In the end two candidates were presented for each post and the students could vote for one of these two.  Some of the designations were Security, Cleanliness and Environment, Food and Health, and Sports as well as the obvious Head Boy/Girl. After an introduction by Mr Mmari and Mr Mbulende the candidates for the first prefectorial position were called forward and addressed the student body, putting forward their case and answering any questions.  Slips of paper stamped with the school stamp were then handed out to all present and, having all written on their own preference for the post, these were collected by yours truly.  I then took them to the table for the teachers to count the votes under the watchful eye of two scrutineers from the student body. The whole process was then repeated for the next post. A real example of citizenship in action and one that I was quite honoured to be part of.  I really wished I could understand Swahili though, because some of the speeches and answers to questions were quite impassioned, whilst others obviously contained humour.  The whole proceedings took three hours and the humour and behaviour of the students through what was a long session were impeccable.

A candidate addresses the school

The New Prefects

I should have said that, because of the range of ages in any particular year, there is no restriction on Form.  The two candidates for head boy were from Form I and Form II and not from next years senior form, Form III.

I was late going home, as the whole proceedings stretched well after normal school closing time, which is possibly why I was in time to take the next photo.  I presume these are the main reason why there are pot holes for the Dala Dalas to bounce in as they were certainly digging away furiously.


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