MULTAN: In a rare spectacle, more than 14,000 elected representatives of the student councils took oath simultaneously across the 11 districts of South Punjab on Tuesday.

The main ceremony was held at the Government Boys Comprehensive Higher Secondary School Multan where South Punjab Additional Chief Secretary retired Capt Saqib Zafar administered oath to the elected representatives of schools situated in the urban areas of Multan.

The main ceremony was linked to such ceremonies being held at all 43 tehsils of 11 districts of South Punjab through Zoom.

In their oaths, the elected representatives vowed to forget the bitterness of elections, take their opponents along, assist their teachers and work for welfare of their fellow students wholeheartedly. They also vowed to exhibit exemplary conduct as well as discipline and become role models for others.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary School Education, South Punjab, Dr Ehtasham Anwar said the initiative was first of its kind in the country.

He added that unlike the student unions where students with political inclinations participated, the criteria for student councils was such as the only hardworking, capable and disciplined students could get elected.

“Furthermore, the entire phenomenon of students councils would operate under a disciplined and controlled environment and a serious violation could lead to even their dissolution.”

Mr Anwar said the elections of student councils had been organised on the pattern of general elections in the country and entailed nomination of the candidates, election campaigns and use of ballots.

“The main objectives of the constitution of student councils have been stated as developing and nurturing leadership skills in the students as well as equipping them with life skills such as management, communication, public relations etc.”

Mr Anwar hoped that the entire exercise would introduce and strengthen democratic values at the grassroots in a country whose record was far from satisfactory.

“The student councils would primarily organise co-curricular and sports activities on the campuses. Moreover, they would carry out two-way communication between the school administration and the students on issues of mutual concern, as and when needed,” he added.

Elections for Students Councils were held early this month in public schools of all districts of South Punjab and students cast their votes to elect office-bearers including presidents, vice presidents, general secretaries and class representatives in 4,756 elementary, high and higher secondary schools.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2021

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