India is a democratic country where the parliamentary system of government prevails. So every individual is expected to know the functioning of this system. The members of the parliament are elected by voting.
Soon after the schools reopen in June every year, elections are held to form the School Parliament. In schools, class leaders are elected to form the parliament. From among them, the various office bearers such as Chairman, School leaders etc are elected. The school leader will be the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister nominates the other members of the cabinet and they are given different portfolios. Discipline, sanitation, running of library and reading rooms, social service and cultural activities are some of the portfolios entrusted to them. The headmaster of the school will be the president. Two or three sessions of school parliament will be conducted every year.
The election to school parliaments is a big event today because political parties take interest in it and field their candidates. Some political parties support the students against the authorities or against the rival political parties. They misuse the student power for their political purposes. These political parties often play with the lives and careers of innocent students. Often there are clashes between the students belonging to various political parties and this is backed by their respective political masters, resulting in strikes and sometimes even the death of innocent students. The interference of political groups has spoiled the good name of the school parliaments. As a result, these parliaments do not function effectively. The real aim behind the formation and functioning of school parliaments is neglected due to the unnecessary interference of political parties.
There are many advantages to the credit of school parliaments. The school parliament gives training to the students regarding the function of democracy. This helps the students understand the process of the parliamentary system of the government. In a broad sense, the school parliament teaches children how democracy works. They freely vote their favourite candidates. They learn that the group which gets the majority assumes power. Leadership qualities are spotted and developed. Children learn to be responsible. School parliament are entrusted with the discipline, cleanliness and running of class rooms and libraries. Those entrusted with such responsibilities will become good administrators later. The success of democracy in our country depends to a great extent on the effective functioning of school parliaments.