Career & Education

St Jago High students stage mock general election

Sunday, March 17, 2019

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Students' View Political Party (SVP) won four of the seven seats that were up for grabs in the recent mock election at St Jago High School, as part of the social studies curriculum for fifth-form students.

SVP, represented by yellow, will therefore form the government, while Our Political Party, which won three seats and is represented by pink, will form the Opposition. The other party that contested the vote was Students' Progressive Party, whose colour is blue.

As Stephanie Wright-Grant, head of the Department of Social Studies, Religious Education and Tourism at the school explained to the Jamaica Observer, the mock election is the culminating activity for fifth-form students of social studies, who will be sitting the subject at Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate in May this year.

“It serves as a great mechanism to teach students about elections and the voting process,” she said, ading that prior to the day of the mock polls, the pretend political parties crafted and presented their manifestoes, nominated their candidates, campaigned, signed a code of conduct in the presence of the political ombudsman, played by teacher Andreen Ledgister, and had a robust political debate.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica executed the election.

According to Wright-Grant, the seven seats or constitutencies that were contested were organised based on St Jago's seven fifth-form classes — 5S, 5T, 5J, 5A, 5G, 5O and 5N. In addition to fifth-form students, the electorate comprised of fifth form block supervisors and form teachers, members of administration, the dean of discipline, and members of the Department of Social Studies, Religious Education and Tourism.

Wright-Grant reports that there was a 75 per cent voter turnout, with 172 of 229 voters casting ballots.

Polling stations opened at 1:15 pm and closed at 2:30 pm.

The mock polls, ususally staged every two years, were particularly special this year as the school, located in Spanish Town, St Catherine, is celebrating its 275th anniversary.


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