Engaging in Democracy

Vanitha Ma’am has been a teacher at Government Higher Primary School (GHPS), Kodathi, in the Doddakannelli Education Cluster for the last six years. Her work towards providing students a platform to explore their talents has always inspired her colleagues. 

In a democracy like ours, it is essential to educate students about the values of secularism and socialism through different avenues. It is also crucial to encourage students to participate in opportunities that allow them to practice the tenets of democracy. 

In an attempt to create such a space, Ms. Vanita and Team Mantra conducted a Mock Child Parliament at GHPS, Kodathi, on 20th January 2020. They called the event “Formation and Working of a Child Parliament.” 

The school invited the President, Secretary members, and the PDO of the Kodathi Gram Panchayat to the proceedings, who were present alongside the HM and teachers from the school. Ms.Vanita was chosen as the ‘Speaker of the House’ and inaugurated the event with a welcome speech. 

The students were divided into multiple parties, mainly the ‘ruling party’ and the ‘opposition.’ The members of the ruling party opened the session with an update about the work they were doing in the school, in terms of discipline, cleanliness and so on. Members of the opposition questioned their opening statements, presenting the concerns of the students. 

There were more questions posed on the grounds of involvement of students in various tasks, discipline, cleanliness, etc. There was an intense discussion in the presence of the Speaker and the guests. 

The Mock Parliament session was declared a success, and teachers were delighted that the students could experience the functioning of a parliament. More importantly, the opportunity helped students work on their communication skills as well as how to engage in a debate. 

The day culminated with the Panchayat members providing students with some feedback from their own experiences. 

We are so excited to see teachers like Ms.Vanita and her team at GHPS, Kodathi, for creating such opportunities for experiential learning for their students. 

Contributed by Team PACE, MANTRA

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