A Co-operative Society is organized among a group of persons to provide some service or benefit which they would be unable to provide as separate individuals.
In St. Kitts and Nevis Schools Savings Co-operatives are organized among the pupils of a school with the following objectives:
- To encourage thrift and to provide means whereby the members may make regular savings. This simply means that members are encouraged to make regular and systematic savings, in a habit which should be developed and fostered, especially among the youth. This habit of saving is encouraged, not to create misers, but to provide the opportunity of saving at an early age which, it is hoped, they will carry on into their adult lives. The money saved at school should be the students’ own savings and not that of their parents. This money should not be withdrawn until the child is leaving school or to assist in purchasing, books, uniforms etc. The savings a student accumulates can be used to help with secondary, technical or commercial education, to provide tools for apprenticeship in trade etc.
- To teach the members the wise use of money. As with everything else, money can be used or misused. Members of a Co-operative Society learn to make the best use of money, as well as other resources at their disposal.
- To provide practical experience in commerce and book-keeping. Members of the Junior Co-operatives will understand that a Co-operative Society is a form or type of business, and attention must be paid to such things as management, the keeping of accounts and other records.
- To teach members how to conduct themselves at orderly meetings, make speeches, elect officers and use votes wisely. The conduct of meetings according to parliamentary procedure is one of the lessons to be learned by members of a Junior Co-operative, as also is the intelligent use of the vote, remembering that, in a Co-operative society, one member has one vote only.
- To teach members co-operative principles and practices, so that they may be encouraged to join or organize societies after leaving school. Successful Junior Co-operatives have led to the formation of adult Co-operatives in later years; or if these are already present, to a steady and substantial increase in membership as Junior Co-operators become adults.
- To assist members in obtaining school and other supplies at reasonable prices. Savings Co-ops often precede some other type of Co-operative activity, which is directly related to the needs or problems of the juveniles.
- To encourage the development of the Co-operative Movement in the Federation. Junior Co-ops are but a part of the Co-operative movement in the Federation which is itself a very small part of the Co-operative Movement in the world. Junior co-operatives have their part to play as a part of the whole in the Federation and in general.In order to attain these objectives, Head teachers and Teacher Guides should ensure that functional societies are established in their schools with elected Committees and the member students given specific tasks to perform.Parents are encouraged to assist their children in understanding the reason for thrift. The students must learn to understand that savings should not only be used for occasions such as Christmas spendings, birthdays, etc. It should be instilled that savings be primarily utilized for future planning.Apart from the Schools Savings Co-operatives there is also the Schools’ Apex Co-operative Society operating in almost every school in St. Kitts and Nevis. This Co-op is engaged in the sale of school supplies such as exercise books, pens, pencils, rulers, uniforms etc. at your school and at reasonable prices
A most cordial invitation is extended to all students to participate in the Schools’ Co-operative Movement. The support of parents and the encouragement of teachers is