Lynnwood Ridge hosts its own election day

Lynnwood Ridge Primary School learners participating in the mock up elections. Supplied

Lynnwood Ridge Primary School learners participating in the mock up elections. Supplied

Published Jun 3, 2024


In a heart-warming departure from the adage "Curiosity killed the cat", Lynnwood Ridge Primary School demonstrated how curiosity can build a nation.

The school’s foundation phase learners held their thrilling election, sparking excitement and learning among the youngsters.

The spark for this event was ignited by the learners themselves. Curious about the general election which took place last week, they inspired the foundation Head of the Department, Beverly Forrest to create a child-friendly voting process.

This initiative allowed them to elect a Foundation Phase Mascot, a symbol that will be proudly displayed at school assemblies and essential gatherings. The enthusiasm was infectious, leading the Senior Phase Head of Department Celest Marks, to organise a similar election for the Grade 7 learners to choose their final primary year activity.

The Lynnwood Ridge Primary School ballot paper. Supplied

In a practical civics lesson, Forrest and Marks replicated the official election procedures the Electoral Commission of South African (IEC) followed. The school was fortunate to have actual IEC officials and law enforcement officers on site, as Lynnwood Ridge Primary School was among the many nationwide voting stations.

These officials graciously engaged with the students, enhancing mock elections' realism and educational value.

"We followed all the IEC protocols to ensure a free and fair election," explained Marks.

“The presence of IEC officials and law enforcement officers was a blessing, and they graciously participated in our educational endeavour."

The young learners were issued mock identity documents and instructed on the voting process, mirroring the experience of their parents. They queued with their IDs in hand, eagerly waiting to make a meaningful decision about their school’s future.

The exercise was challenging – two Grade 7 students were disqualified for losing their mock IDs, and several ballots were spoiled due to mistakes like ticking instead of crossing options. However, these challenges did not dampen their spirits. The election provided a valuable and engaging lesson in democracy, showcasing their resilience and determination.

One grateful parent Mandisa Fanele expressed her appreciation in a letter to the school.

"These election activities answered many of my questions. My son Khwezi has been curious about the elections and who I would vote for. This wasn’t his only interest; I later realised it was due to the school’s efforts. My gratitude goes to all the teachers, especially the Grade 7 teachers. You’ve set a solid foundation for my boy."

The election day also humorously mirrored typical South African challenges, such as load-shedding, protests and playful jabs at bribery. Yet, the spirit of resilience and enthusiasm among the young voters prevailed.

The pre-election at Lynnwood Ridge Primary School was not just an educational exercise but a celebration of democracy and a testament to the power of curiosity and hands-on learning. This experience has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the students, preparing them to be informed and engaged citizens of tomorrow.

Pretoria News