Seitokai 生徒会 the Japanese student council
In Japan, the student council is called Seitokai 生徒会 and has an important role within schools. It is made up of students elected by their classmates (and other classes) and represent the students' interests at the school, among other useful and interesting activities. Many of you manga, anime or drama fans will have got to know him.
We find the first embryo of this form of "management" linked to students before the Second World War, but this sort of student self-management body saw the beginning of a certain autonomy around 1949, carrying out some activities on its own.
The process of electing student council members varies from school to school, but generally students submit their candidacy (in some cases they are "sponsored" by other students) and the entire student body votes to choose council members. There are real "electoral campaigns" including a final meeting with the students in which we explicitly talk about which direction we want to give to the school and their mandate. The number of members varies according to the size of the school.
The role of the student council is to represent students at the school and to work to improve the school environment. This may include planning school events, raising funds for school activities, and resolving any issues that may arise among students. However, this school organ is not as "powerful" as it is often represented in anime and drama (albeit funny situations).
In Japan, the student council also plays an important role in organizing extra-curricular activities such as student clubs. Board members are often responsible for managing clubs and coordinating club activities while enforcing school policies. It can also represent students on the school board, which is the school's main decision-making body. In this role, the board can present student concerns and requests to school board members.
Board members are expected to adhere to a well-defined code of conduct and have good work ethics. This includes being present at board meetings and working hard to achieve the goals they stated in the “election campaign”.
Having been part of the Student Council (especially having held the position of president) can lead to certain benefits such as the delivery of a sort of "merit letter" that enters their curriculum, facilitating their "scholastic career" and future all within education but not only.
In summary, the student council in Japan is an important organization within schools, representing students' interests and working to improve the school environment. Thanks to its organization and discipline, the council has been admired around the world as an example of how students can take responsibility and work together to achieve common goals.
The anime series, films and TV series have then accentuated the aura of curiosity and respect towards this school organ towards the Western world. Certainly not all that glitters is gold, but it is a system that if brought back here in the West would have its benefits in my opinion.
We will have the opportunity with other articles in the future to go into a little more detail on how the system works in Japan.
Society, Mauro Piacentini, Seitokai, Japanese student council