Imagine a group of primary school students spread throughout Victoria working together to implement major projects, to provide feedback to organisations about policy and other new initiatives being implemented whilst learning about citizenship and decision making. Sounds impressive. At present though, all we can do is imagine, because such an opportunity for primary school students does not exist.
Since 2001, secondary students have had Victorian Student Representative Council to speak and act on behalf of secondary students in schools throughout Victoria. Each year, the VicSRC holds Congress where students are able to put forward motions that are voted upon and then implemented by a student executive throughout the following year.
The primary equivalent to the VicSRC Congress would be FRENZY, which Second Strike has facilitated since 2008. Like the VicSRC Congress, a key feature of FRENZY is a Congress sitting. Students who attended are placed into discussion groups where they form motions to be tabled before the Congress. Motions are then moved in the Congress, debated and put before a formal vote. At each Congress, primary school students have moved and passed a motion for the creation of a state student representative group. However, without a student executive or organisation to lobby for action, many of these motions have failed to come to fruition.
VISTA has a number of primary school SRC teachers as members and they too have been asking about an equivalent organisation for primary students.
The VISTA executive is therefore leading the charge in establishing a VicJSC (Victorian Junior School Council)
Whilst ideas are still very much under development, the initial proposal would see membership open to government, private and catholic primary schools from across Victoria. Students would utilise online tools such as web 2.0 sites and online conferencing to connect with other students and implement the recommendations put forward at a state based congress. The use of online tools would eliminate the need for travel and would enable students in regional and remote locations the opportunity to participate.
The creation of a VicJSC would provide primary school students with a united voice. It would harness the collective power and enthusiasm of primary school students and provide them with an opportunity to focus on specific issues and activities.
A VicJSC network would also allow other students from across the state to learn about the workings of other student councils and improve the operations and workings of their own student council at their school. It would provide the education system and other organisations with a reference group to consult with when making major decisions and in turn, provide primary school students with the opportunity to understand, practice and experience democracy in a real-life context.
It’s time that the voice of our young people was heard, but more importantly, it’s time for them to be given an opportunity to turn their ideas into action.
How can you get involved ?
- Add your school contact details to the form below and we’ll keep you posted with any updates.
- Become a member of the VISTA Ning Network and we’ll keep you posted.
- Record a video of your primary school students telling others about why they think a VicJSC should be established. Let us know about your video
- Post a comment to this post