Creating Democracy Within a School

Korba, Chhattisgarh.

If you think too much is going wrong in the country, don’t worry, it will get better. A conversation with primary school teacher, Ashok Kumar Rathiya is enough to give you this assurance.

In a school over a thousand kilometres from the national capital, 65 students have set up their own cabinet. Every year, they elect 7 representatives to govern their school life. To name a few, there is the Health Minister who looks after hygiene, the Education Minister who checks on your homework and ensures you are on track with your exam preparation, the Agriculture Minister who oversees the garden and is responsible for sharing farming know-hows with the students, and of course the Prime Minister (or the school captain) who keeps a check on them all. They assemble for a session every week with selected representatives from every class.

Ashok was the chief architect of this mini-democracy. Fortunately, he was well aware that democracy does not just mean elections. So, he also made it compulsory for each minister to appoint a team of three to assist with his/her duties. This got 28 out of 65 students involved in making the system work, a 43% participation. Ashok’s next move was the introduction of a weekly publication “बाल समाचार”, where students can speak about whatever they want. It can be a fight in the school, a wedding in the village, an election in the district. With 2 assigned editors in each of the 5 classes, and every student as a reporter, Ashok achieved his 100% participation target.

There are quite a few statistics about this school government which are heartening. Firstly, 4 of the 7 elected representatives are girls. They occupy the positions of Prime Minister, Health Minister, Education Minister, and Sports Minister, and fairly represent the 35 girls in the school. The Defence Minister whose role is to protect the garden and break up fights is the only the only one in the cabinet from the 3rd Grade. Apparently, he beat the other candidates (all from the 5th Grade) with the highest margin. He did it by securing the votes of his entire class while the votes of his opponents got split. A true politician in the making!

This man from Chattisgarh is quietly grooming a generation of citizens, aware of their rights. His work is a gift to this nation. Only with teachers like him can we, the world’s largest democracy, aspire to be the world’s truest democracy.

This story is based on the life of Ashok Kumar Rathiya from Korba, Chhattisgarh.
Story by Rishav Rakshit. 
We are grateful to the government of Chhattisgarh for introducing us to Humans of Indian Schools.


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Good work sir g

योगेंद्र कुमार राठिया

बहुत खूब । आपके कार्य से प्रेरणा मिलती है ।

Ashok kumar Rathiya

धन्यवाद सर जी

Smt. Ishwari Bhoi

Good work.

raghuvansh mishra

Excellent Rathiyaji.

Ashok kumar Rathiya

धन्यवाद मिश्रा सर जी ,आप से बहुत कुछ सीखा हूँ सर और आगे भी सीखते रहूंगा।