In a replica of the state’s democracy, students in schools around the Northern Autonomous state of Puntland are now electing their leaders and learning the basics of democratic systems in the process.
The traditional process where teachers selected prefects guided by the students’ performance and behaviour is slowly diminishing in many schools in the State.
The trend is much appreciated and upheld in a number of schools in Garowe, getting acceptance in both Secondary and primary schools.
Three hundred students of Al Hidaya Primary School queued in lines to vote for the student leadership on Monday.
The Pupils were electing student leaders fronted by the two main parties contesting in the student elections. Himilo and Horyaal parties nominated two candidates and their deputies.
Both students parties fronted two girls to head the school leadership, while two boys were nominated to deputize them in running the affairs of the students.
The election officials were also the students of the school.
According to Poll results following the counting and verification of the voting papers, the Horyal and Himilo parties garnered 149 and 136 respectively.
The headteacher of Al Hidaya Primary School Mr. Jama Hassan said the school has accepted to shift from the current system of leadership where students are mainly hand-picked by teachers, members of the councils will be elected by fellow students.
Mr. Hassan said the process is a testimony of the democratization levels of Puntland State, the oldest among the member State of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
“We have initiated this process ahead of the anticipated direct one man one vote party primary elections for the Puntland State,” said Mr. Hassan.
He added, “The students have shown their zeal and determination for democracy and elections. Only 15 ballots were declared as spoilt votes, indicating how everyone was looking forward to the process.”
The state is scheduled to soon hold primaries for the political parties that will take part in the national elections.
The Transitional Puntland electoral commission (TPEC) is currently conducting voter registration and eduction ahead of the elections.
TPEC is the commission responsible for Puntland elections and registration of citizens and political Associations