New lead­er­ship col­lege head is­sues chal­lenge to ed­u­ca­tors

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

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


Rose­mary Camp­bell-Stephens, head of the Na­tional Col­lege for Ed­u­ca­tional Lead­er­ship. BET­TER IN­CEN­TIVES

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