FROM THE HEADBOY by Parminderpal Singh (1985)

Date: 29- 04- 20

Some people misinterpret, ‘leadership’ and suggest that public schools aim at producing leaders in the political and industrial field.  What I feel and think of a leader (i) a person capable of taking initiative (ii) a person who works for the community he lives in (iii) a person who is responsible to himself and (iv) a person who is resourceful and takes responsibility.

The school provides ample opportunities through its manifold activities to acquire these qualities.  Prefectorial-System is the mechanism that forms the school-government and Prefects are appointed on the basis of experience and achievement in various fields of school life.  Invariably the Prefects command the respect of their junior students and enjoy the confidence of masters and the Headmaster.  Though the duty of the Prefect is to see that the school rules, traditions and established conventions are strictly adhered to, they themselves cannot escape punishment by virtue of their position. Junior students can express their grievances if any, against the misbehaviour of Prefects including the Headboy.

One very important duty of the Headboy is to coordinate between the students and the Headmaster on the one hand and among Prefects on the other.  He represents the students in various committees and prepares agenda for the School Council.  He collects complaints, questions and suggestions from the students and places them before the Council where they are discussed threadbare.  He also has to see that the decisions taken in the Council are implemented.

Whenever an example needs to be made, we have to take the lead. It is the duty of the Prefects and the Headboy that the defaulter is helped to improve.  Corporal punishment and gagging are out of place in a school like ours.

When everyone is conducting himself responsibly, there is absolute freedom.  The only rule, we are repeatedly told, is the rule of commonsense.  This, I believe, is one of the most valuable features of the training for good citizenship that is being given in my school.  The extent of freedom depends on the amount and degree of self-discipline and responsibility.  I am particularly fortunate in getting tremendous cooperation from the boys and very valuable guidance from the Headmaster and masters.

This I suppose is the best possible situation to work in.