Student Government Organization: Honing Students’ Leadership and Social Skills

Jonnadel Sayco-Patonona

The student government organization in schools was first implemented in the year 2007 per DepEd Memorandum No. 45, s. 2007. It was organized to serve as a venue for students to develop their leadership and social skills. It is the highest level of pupil organization in school governance that promotes the welfare of all learners.

Students who participate in a student government are exposed to different opportunities in school and beyond.

But what does it take to be in a student government?

A student must do a self-evaluation in order to perform well in a student organization. Remember, anybody can be a member of this organization but not everybody can be a leader.

To be a student leader, having a goal in mind is a must. There must be an end to their vision. How do they see their school after their term? Will it be better? How do they see their co-students if they will be given the chance to lead them? Will they gain anything?

A student leader must also know how to manage time well. With their studies and the organization at their hands, knowing what to prioritize and doing everything that needs to be done requires a lot of time management skills.

Being confident to express ideas to others is also important especially because a leader is the voice of his/her co-students. Along with being able to express ideas is being a good listener. Knowing when to talk and when to listen is a valuable skill of a good leader.

Passion is also an important trait to become a student leader. A leader with a heart is what an organization needs, not a leader who only wants to lead. The willingness to serve others goes a long way.

A student leader must also be trustworthy, honest and candid. Knowing that they have been chosen to lead means that their co-students trust them; thus, they should act for it.

A student who possesses these characteristics and traits can surely be a good leader.

What are the challenges of being a student leader?

Being a student leader is a big responsibility. It means they vowed for the welfare of the school and their co-students. The extra responsibility that comes with participating in a student government may be a drawback at times.

Being a student leader can also be demanding on top of another student’s commitment. Activities here and there, doing home works, reviewing for the exams, preparing for an upcoming oral recitation. This will be the real scenario in a life of a student leader.

With the time commitment and responsibility required of a student leader, they can get overwhelmed and stressed. Others may find a way through this and grow from it, but others may find it too much.

Another challenge of being a student leader is getting the rest of the students to participate in all the programs, projects, and activities conducted by the student government as well as the school. Sometimes, there can be students who would not want to cooperate and are very hard to convince.

Having laid the challenges, what would students gain when getting involved in student government?

Participating in a student government can be an enriching experience for students, this will give lasting positive impacts.

There are mandated thrusts, programs, and activities under the student government that will develop learners’ abilities in one way or another. Organizing the participation of students and volunteers in the annual Brigada Eskwela, lead/participate in the National Greening Program (NGP) like School inside a Garden and Gulayan sa Paaralan and other environment-related activities; conduct activities to support Anti-drug Abuse Education and Campaign; conduct English-speaking campaigns, reading and other tutorial activities; conduct activities to prevent students from dropping out of schools and assist in ensuring that the school is a smoke/tobacco-free place are some of the mandated activities of a student leader.

Through these activities, good governance, volunteerism, unity and cooperation among the student leaders are developed. Students are also trained to become better members of society.

Being a part of the student government also gives a student the chance to get familiar with the big picture of the real government structure and scenario.

They can also be a part of a positive change in their school when they get to attend school meetings wherein they can voice their opinions, propose initiatives, policies, and other activities.

Students can build relationships with their co-students and even teachers and advisers by working closely with them while fulfilling their duties as leaders.

Not only will they build relationships but also networks with members of the local government, policy-makers, community members, and other people of interest and influence. This connection can open many doors for them in the future.

At a young age, students can also develop and hone their professional skills like effective communication when they get to address the whole school during assemblies and other activities, presenting ideas, organizing meetings and events, and collaborating between different groups of learners and other stakeholders.

Working in a team is also an invaluable skill that can be learned when involved in student government.

And because of the skills and knowledge gained from this experience, being a student government officer can be an advantage when applying for college, internships, and even jobs for some.

Last and certainly not the least, students will have fun! It will become a year to make bonds and friendships that will last for the rest of their lives.