Student leadership opportunities and possibilities: A case from two public secondary schools of District Shigar in Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Today, society needs students whose capacity extend beyond simple know how of doing things well to the recognition of right things to do and to the execution of tasks in a planned manner. Such student capacity necessitates the development of student leadership at the school level to be cultivated through different activities being embodied in school culture, rules, and school development plan. Importantly, the head teachers and teachers’ beliefs that students possess potentials to grow and enact their roles as leaders along with learning counts, if student leadership is to grow. To develop student leadership, the school needs to provide opportunities closest to students’ interest and level aligning academic activities with social, spiritual, and contextual needs, which call for participatory approach practices in the school. Cognizant of the fact, this study explores opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills in two public sector secondary schools in Shigar district of Gilgit-Baltistan. The study employed qualitative research method multiple-case study design and data were collected through semi-structured interviews, focused group discussion, analysis of relevant documents, and field notes. The head teacher of both schools, one teacher, and four students from each school were research participants. The findings revealed two types of opportunities: formal and informal. The formal opportunities such as head boy, class representatives, boy scouts, events planning, competitions, and membership of different committees were provided to students given space in school development plan. While, the informal opportunities such as unplanned events, social interactions, morning assembly, playground time, peer groups, and disagreement of ideas etc. are illustrated through data, which are more important to make an individual socialized, civilized, and useful citizen and also develop their leadership skills. It is important to channelize these opportunities as part of the curricular activities and align with written rules of the school, which is found lacking in both cases. There exist barriers in the development of student leadership such as socio-cultural beliefs that support teachers’ supremacy, no argumentation with teachers, and less exposure. Thus, the study recommends that students must be encouraged to work autonomously, appreciated for their work, and be involved in the decision-making, so that they can become future leaders.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library