Recently the APEEE organised an insightful interview with the CDE governance, Ms Taimi Alberti, President, and M. Sarnath Gesquiere, Vice President. This engaging dialogue confirmed both parties’ commitment to nurturing a positive relationship centred around the wellbeing and education of students.
We sincerely appreciate Taimi & Sarnath for their the time in meeting with us and for answering our questions.
- How long have been a student in EEB2 & how long have you been an active member of the CDE?
S. Gesquiere: I’ve been at the Woluwe school since my P4 and an active member of the CDE since I was in S1, so 6 years!
T. Alberti: I’ve been here since my 1st maternelle, so since the very beginning! I’ve been a member of the CDE for 3 years, so since my S4.
- How can a student join?
S. G : Any student can join the CDE if they wish, simply by sending an “application letter” of around a hundred words to show their interest in joining the committee. In the past the CDE was made of 17 active members, however, due to the pupils’ interest it was raised and is currently at 31 members. These members form various sub-groups, including the PR Team (which oversees public and external relations), the Leisure Team (which organises events, activities, etc.), the Improvement Team (which proposes improvements to the school), and so on. This year we received more than 80 applications, 17 of which were validated. Applicants have to speak in front of the class representatives for 1 minute to present their projects and what they would like to improve at school and share their experience.
The CDE participates in several forums with various stakeholders (including the APEEE, the school etc.). The CDE also has an equivalent to Interparents (umbrella of APEEE associations) which is named CoSup.
- It’s great, you have a voice in decision-making and can intervene in several forums.
S. G : Yes, the CDE and its members strive for better student representation, a more professional, consistent, and transparent body. This is largely thanks to two students (one of whom is a former EEB2 student) Hugo S. and K. Jane, an active member of CoSup, who have worked to improve the ways in which students can have their say and have their voices heard.
We are stakeholders in the decision-making process of the school, just like the APEEE. We attend meetings together with the APEEE as partners. We represent the students there on important issues for us, such as the dangerous overpopulation of the school.
In the past, we have had some friction with the APEEE on certain issues, as we sometimes do not agree on things. We have separate constituencies.
However, we look forward a lot to the new year, and hope we will be able to cooperate and find common interest on topics with the parents.
- How do you consult students to defend their positions, rights and concerns?
S. G + T. A : We have different ways of communicating with students when important issues are raised, for example during the elections for this year’s Vice President, all students were invited to vote during their L1 class, to make sure that all students made their voices heard.
For other matters, we use polls or communications shared and published through our Instagram page or via Teams. But we are confident in our representing the students of EEB2, which is what we were elected to do.
- What motivated you to run for the president position?
T. A : A big part in motivating me to run for president was my fellow student representatives’ support as well as yearning for change. I have been in the CDE for 2 years (my third now) and after having been Head Organiser of the Grand Debates last year, presidency felt like the logical step forward in student representation.
- Do you have specific projects you would like to launch during your presidency ? If so, could you tell us a bit more about them ?
T.A : Apart from the annual CDE projects such as the Grand Debates, The Talent Show and Bake sales the CDE has launched various initiatives to improve our school. This year some of my main projects are to get free menstrual products in our school, which we’ve just managed to achieve as of 13th November. The CDE funds menstrual products so they are available at the nurses offices free of charge.
Another project has been making the exit queues shorter. We’ve made an improvement by adding a scanner to the main gate, which has significantly expedited leaving school.
Something the CDE has been working on for several years is getting a website where students can see if their teachers are absent before they have to leave to go to school. This would ensure that not as many students just wonder around at school if they don’t have classes. This website (sub channel of student extranet) will be set up by the school’s IT department with help of the CDE’s IT team by January.
Because we are a European School, there are countless different cultures to be found, and therefore the CDE’s leisure team wants to propose a Culture Day, on which everyone is invited to dress up in either their national clothing or wear something that represents their culture.
- For parents or outsiders who do not know how the CDE works, could you tell us a bit more about what the CDE is and its added value to the School Community ?
T. A : The CDE (Comité des Élèves) or PC (Pupils’ Committee) is a group of 31 students from S1-S7 elected by class reps to act as representatives of the secondary student body. Our aim is to represent students in meetings with management, parents, teachers and staff, as well as make students’ school experience as enjoyable as possible by organising various activities and events. You can find more information on the CDE on our website eeb2cde.eu or on our Instagram account eeb2cde.