The word prefect can refer to any of a number of types of official, including:
in Latin, praefectus: a high-ranking military or civil official in the Roman Empire; the title now attaches to the heads of some departments of the Roman Curia, who are traditionally Cardinals, and if they are not are titled Pro-Prefect.
in the context of schools, a prefect is a pupil who has been given authority over other pupils in the school.
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