Khamdang School casts EVM votes for 2013 captains

Illustrator by jigme choden

Election Day is just around the corner to select the School Captain for the year 2013, and Khamdang Lower Secondary School in Trashiyangtse is all set to do it in true democratic fashion which incidentally involves the use of voting devices as in – an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to create awareness among students on election procedures.

“This would help the students get a feel of Democracy and gain some knowledge on voting process. Moreover it will help them prepare for the real Election Day,” said the School’s IT faculty Lotay.

He said, next year, the school would come up with a Democratic club which will give them more knowledge and be ready since in a couple of years the students will become eligible voters to vote for their choice of government in the country’s elections for a democratic government.

Most of the students of classes VII and VIII in the school are in the age bracket of 15 to 17 years.

For the Election Day, the election officials from Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) would visit the school along with their EVM in order to operate and demonstrate the voting process to the students.

About five boys and seven girls are nominated for the School Captain’s position.

In a telephone interview with one of the contestants for the Captain’s post, Lham Nidup, 16 from class VII said he is confident enough to win the election but at the same time is a bit nervous as well for the first Election Day.

He feels that majority of the school is in his favor. Taking into account the other contestants he said, “There won’t be much difference in the votes, only a couple of votes maybe”.

Given a chance to be the school’s captain, he promises to do every task with full dedication and participate in every activity. But most importantly he said it will be based on ‘Gross National Happiness’.

However he is bit worried about the voting process because he feels that some errors might occur since school is new to the election process conducted for the first time with an EVM. “Out of nervousness, they might press the button for the one they do not wish to vote,” he said.

Speaking to some of the voters from the school, Pema Yangdon, 16 said, she is very excited to get to vote for the first time through an EVM, the machine which people use to vote for governments of their choices.

“I have got some knowledge about the process through Television but not in reality,” she said.

“This is something which will create history for the school,” Dorji Phuntsho, a class VIII student and a student in the school since 2005 said.

Dorji Phuntsho who witnessed the selection of many captains said this time it would be different and fairer with the use of an EVM.

“Moreover it will help choose the best and most capable person too,” he added.

The eligible voters’ pool for the school captain elections comprise the students of Classes IV and above. Along with them teachers, Non-Formal Education (NFE) instructors and learners are also voters for the day.

Apart from School Captains, many others like House, Health, Agriculture captains and many more leaders will also be elected depending on the number of vote counts after the School Captain elections.

The Elections will be observed today in the School from 9am. The school has around 335 students and 12 teachers.

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