The Higher Secondary saga and why it matters

Student politics used to be significant; it was a movement dedicated to the enhanced representation of the student body by the students themselves. Whenever someone in power tried to mitigate the importance of education and student rights, entire institutions went into one, glorious uproar of defiance. We once truly believed in putting faith in those best-suited for the task to represent us and our interests – we established elections and councils for this very purpose.

It was this feeling that convinced me that spending three years in one such organisation was a good idea. Unfortunately, however, my time there was regularly plagued by a sense of overshadowing doubt; over the course of those three years I learned that the executive branches of both organisations were more interested in themselves and their political careers rather than the students who empowered them, so I left the scene permanently. After the recent turn of events at GCHS (Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary, a post-secondary school), the distrust expressed by myself and many other ex-members of these organisations proved to be justified. To anyone who is not familiar with the aforementioned situation, allow me to elaborate – despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the school’s student body enrolled there to avoid these organisations, they have apparently decided that their presence was necessary and condescendingly introduced themselves as their representatives.

This was all done without any consultation with an already existing student council. Up until this point, potential candidates running for this council came forward purely out of their own interest in representing their co-eds. It was, quite simply, a direct democracy, and judging from the infuriated reactions exhibited by the students there everybody liked that system. According to this televised phone call making its rounds on social media, the school’s headmaster didn’t even bother telling anyone about this affair, which begs the question – what do they both gain from it (since clearly, the students weren’t exactly the priority here)? The very fact that this was all shrouded in secrecy, nestled away safely behind everyone’s back, suggests that all involved parties were worried about not being able to secure approval from their students.

So, why did this happen? If you’re reading this article, you must be at least curious as to what its author thinks, so here’s my two cents: this is clearly about the politicisation of practically everything in our country. The organisations enforce the red vs blue mentality of bipartisanship and the greater their reach the more persuasive their message becomes. In return for their services as a brainwashing academy for their respective puppet-masters, they obtain leverage and influence, the kind that allows you to muscle a school’s headmaster into accepting your presence even though everyone else involved rejects it.

My message to the students involved would be to stand up for what you want, and if what you want is a reversion to the preceding setup then do what you must and speak up. You are the lifeline of the school, not the administrators; students in general are the future of this country and you are not an exception. Many of you were smart enough to opt for this school to avoid this scenario – if you do not react, you will have to take this lying down and accept that which you do not desire.

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