New leadership college head issues challenge to educators
THE NEW head of the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) is insisting that the country’s school leaders can play a greater role in helping Jamaicans develop a stronger sense of identity, purpose and self-determination. According to Rosemary Campbell-Stephens, this sense of self, coupled with a belief in one’s capacity to make a difference, needs to be a fundamental component of the national development thrust.
While acknowledging that Jamaican educators are well known for their hard work, the veteran educator is maintaining that greater emphasis needs to be placed on reaffirming a holistic approach to education. According to her, education transmits values and develops a strong sense of cultural and racial pride.
“By focusing on developing in students an unambivalent, positive sense of their cultural, spiritual and ancestral identity, we develop in them an appreciation of who they are and their potential. So, while the current focus on students leaving school literate, numerate and IT competent is understandable, this is only what you would reasonably expect after 12 years of compulsory schooling. Jamaica cannot afford such a reductionist utilitarian view of education,” noted CampbellStephens, who was appointed director/principal of NCEL just under four months ago.
She emphasised that this approach to education is of particular significance to Jamaica, given its colonial history and the fact that it still has remnants of the colonial mindset embedded in its systems, structures, ways of seeing and its ways of being. According to her, other countries have embraced this approach.
“All of these education systems that we and the rest of the Western world keep
OVERWHELMED IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOLS
Rosemary Campbell-Stephens, head of the National College for Educational Leadership. BETTER INCENTIVES