WILLIAMSFIELD, Manchester: AS THE talk of a general election takes over Jamaica, with many guessing when the big day will be, McIntosh Memorial Primary School in Williamsfield, Manchester, got the 'election fever' last week Thursday when it staged its own polls to select the school's head boy and girl.
As principal Sheron Anderson explained: "We introduced the prefect body four years ago. To make it better, last year, students read their manifestos to the staff. We went one step further this year and made them present their manifestos to the students and the staff.
"We simulated a normal election process where students voted using the same method as is the case at a regular election. The administrative staff were the presiding officers and teachers also voted. We will soon be counting the votes to see who the winners are."
Grade six teacher Lisean Gordon, the director of elections, briefed the staff and students on the election process prior to them voting. "We integrated politics into the curriculum of the citizenship-education programme," Gordon told The Gleaner. "For the Heroes Day celebration, the students did projects on Jamaica's politics, which included a replica of the House of Parliament and [collecting] Gleaner clippings of information on politics."
"In reality, it is to give students an idea of what happens in an election. We try to mirror what is happening in the society. If children are exposed to it, when they become adults, they will have a better understanding of the process," Anderson said.
Students who ran for the coveted position of head girl were Jody-Ann Pink, Tashelle Holness, Ashley Crawford, and Rhodia Pink, while vying for head boy were Damoy Coke, Kevaughn Stewart, and Nicholas Ebanks.
The students registered, got their ballot papers, cast their votes, and placed their ballots in the ballot box.
Eleven-year-old Damoy Coke said he believed he was "fit and ready" for the job of head boy. "I strongly feel that I can do a really great job," he said. "If I am elected, for one, no prefect will be hauled to the principal's office. All students will have good demeanour," he said. Damoy is from New Hall district in the parish and would like to attend deCarteret College.
Tashelle Holness said: "If elected, I would ensure that students maintain their discipline, that they abide by the rules of the school, and work hard on making the school the best in the island."