13 Oct 2017
Forget tomorrow, these are the GEMS leaders of today
Given the current political situation in the country, most Kenyans are absolutely bone-weary of the E-word; but we can make room for a positive election story, no?
At GEMS Cambridge International School Nairobi, we recently held our annual election. At the beginning of every academic year, the school conducts an election that sees a fresh set of school prefects placed in office. While our election may not have been as newsworthy as the national elections, the early lessons in leadership and democracy being imparted on our students are worth celebrating.
School life anywhere presents leadership opportunities that shape the future of students. At GEMS, these are not limited to academics; areas like the arts, athletics, and community service typically have respective luminaries leading.
Before the elections, came the campaigns and the ‘hopefuls’ canvassed for the various positions prior to the voting day. The candidates passionately presented their cases before the electorate, which in this case was the student body.
The school administration and teaching staff are instrumental in the process of nurturing young leaders. They help the students to identify their strengths and provide them the support to capitalize on them. This is why, after the vote, the winners have to go through another round of vetting where they individually have a sit-down with the school principal Mr Scott Webber. Again, (and perhaps employing different tactics) they make a case for themselves.
Popularity alone does not carry the day. As adults, we are cognisant of the fact that these are indeed children. Factors like discipline, academic performance and character come into play before upholding the choice of the voters. It is interesting to note that there are positions that are yet to be filled because unfortunately for some individuals, the popular vote was not enough to secure the positions.
That all said and done, last Friday (October 13, 2017), the school officially presented the 2017- 2018 student leaders who were well received by their peers.
As they take on their duties, the school leadership is keen to ensure that our prefects are learning to manage while managing to learn; after all they came to school to study! One of the most popular leaders of our times said it best, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. John F. Kennedy,
The GEMS Nairobi community has high expectations of our student leaders because they are working for the good of the school today. Tomorrow, we expect them to go out there and armed with lessons from their early years, change the world!