That was the first democratic school in the whole world. Everything about it was done in a democratic way. The students would choose which teacher they wanted for which subject. Through voting <Closed Ballot Box> and the most popular teacher who would garner the support of most of the students and fellow teachers would become the principal.
The ‘elections’ were conducted once in every four months when the students could choose if they wanted to retain the particular teacher for a particular subject. They could practically vote them out, if they wished to.
The teachers were allowed to canvass for one week during the end of every four month term. If a teacher wants a plum post like ‘Science teacher’, then he/she had to secure so many votes more than the next teacher who wanted the same post in the same class. The teachers decide where all to contest, but it is the students who decide who would teach what and where. Most of the time, it didn’t matter if the specialization of a particular teacher was Science but still she ended up teaching Crafts. Even vice versa was pretty much ok with the students, as long as they could exercise their right to vote.
The Second standard election was contested fiercely by two teachers. Both of them wanted to teach mathematics. And the mathematics teacher was also generally the class teacher. There was a major burning issue in that class – The students had for long been demanding that they be given two chocolate bars every day. Which ever teacher would come up with an agenda to tackle this issue better, was expected to win the election.
The first teacher told the students that the chocolates were not good for health and especially teeth if eaten very frequently. She told them how the chocolate manufacturers formed a consortium and were getting involved in having a uniformly “Unfair” and high prices. She told them how the “mithai wala” shop outside the school was secretly negotiating with the manufacturers for the bulk deals as he was confident that he would sell the maximum number of chocolates with his ‘deep’ connections with the student leaders of many primary classes. She also told them about how the school funds, which were obtained by the fees paid by the students, would be unnecessarily diverted for purchasing the chocolates which could otherwise be utilized for purchasing some educational aids which would not only make learning fun, but also help them with their academic performance. She pointed out how hard their parents worked to earn the money they paid as fees and the fact that they would definitely not allow the kids to have two big chocolates per day at home, primarily for the health reasons. She ended her speech with a touching personal note – “When I was a kid, I yearned to eat chocolates daily. But my parents were very strict and allowed one per week only. Even though I was angry on them back then, I am glad now as I have been able to retain good health and most importantly healthy teeth”.
Even though the kids were only studying second standard, they were moved by the speech. They started to think. Sensing that the speech was a catalyst to thought, the second teacher, who was about to grant the student’s wish for two chocolates per day, suddenly increased her offer to four free chocolates per day. The big ones – bar chocolates.
Guess who won! Thank God at least our schools don’t run this way!