Tuesday, August 10

Councillor Collaterals 2 - Councillors as Healthy Influences

In my second article of Councillor Collaterals, a brief and undetailed collection of articles all about councillors, I intend to explore whether it is a possible and realistic to be role models of the school population - healthy influences to their peers.

If you have not known yet, the school's councillors are perpetually regarded as the "cream of the crop". This is a terribly untrue statement! Although its meaning implies that councillors are the "best selection of the student population", using the phrase on them exaggerates the myth that councillors are "goody-two-shoes students that suck up to their teachers' demands". Often, the purpose of even using the phrase is defeated. What else do the rest of the students feel but neglected and prejudiced?

Yes, certain councillors ARE well-behaved students with good conduct and satisfactory academic results. However, you can't expect ALL of them to perform up to your expectations - FACE IT! Some of them were chosen outright because THERE WAS NO OTHER CHOICE to pick other students (refer to my previous article: Councillor Collaterals 1). One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel? Perhaps, at least in the eyes of most teachers. They expect councillors to be the BEST, the MOST WELL BEHAVED in the class, etc. (all the good qualities). Guess what? They often fail to see that many a time, COUNCILLORS have to meet certain standards, COUNCILLORS often are the first to get reprimanded for a job poorly done, COUNCILLORS have to answer for many of their wrongdoings more than a normal student, COUNCILLORS have to struggle to balance their commitments as a councillor (duties) and a student (studying). Not to mention the requirement of them to be ROLE MODELS to their peers?!

Wake up! Wake up! Teachers/Heads-of-Departments who are reading this - wake up! COUNCILLORS ARE STUDENTS! YES, they are to be treated slightly differently as compared to normal students because of their "title". But NO, never pick on them as if every minute offence they commit is wrong. YES, they have to meet your expectations which are higher than that of the normal student. But NO, never compare them to ordinary students in the "bad" sense that the student is better than the councillor. Well, you might as well transfer the "title" of "Student Councillor" from the councillor to the student! Comparing students, like a mother comparing her child to the child's better-behaved cousin, only serves to DEMORALISE the student further and eliminate more and more opportunities for the student to show what he's capable of. YES, councillors CAN be role models to their peers, by correcting them when they commit offences breaking the school rules, for example. But NO, not all councillors are up to the task of doing so. As you know, some councillors even commit MORE offences than the average student.

I guess it all boils down to how councillors are selected to become councillors. You select a boiled seed and plant it in infertile soil - no amount of water or fertiliser will ever cause the seed to develop. Similarly, selecting a student that's not up to the job of being a councillor and placing him in the "impure" school environment, hoping that he can change it for the better - is USELESS - no matter with how much support. Know what, ordinary students CAN be role models as well - after all, some of them do not "expose" their good side until they are slightly older (considering that they were chosen in Secondary 1 - an often unfair time to choose councillors due to their new environment and not being adapted fully to it yet). That it why some students are still given the chance to be councillors in Secondary 2 or 3.

Hence, having councillors as role models is impractical. Instead, students should learn from even ordinary, non-councillor peers. These average but outstanding individuals would perhaps better influence their peers as compared to some "black-sheep" councillors. The fault partially lies with the systems by which St. Hilda's Primary School is run as well. As most St. Hilda's Secondary School students come from the primary school, a heavy responsibility is bestowed upon the primary school to ensure that their students are more of QUALITY than QUANTITY, to ensure individuals that are easier to "handle" when they enter the secondary school.

In my next article of Councillor Collaterals, I will explore the feasibility of the impartation of the school's core values from councillor to ordinary student.


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