Prin­ci­pals must have lead­er­ship skills – Hol­ness

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

PRIME MIN­IS­TER An­drew Hol­ness has said that ef­fec­tive school man­age­ment re­quires prin­ci­pals who are equipped with in­sti­tu­tional lead­er­ship skills, rather than be­ing adept at only in­struc­tional de­liv­ery.

Cit­ing the manda­tory Na­tional Col­lege for Ed­u­ca­tional Lead­er­ship (NCEL) train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for teach­ers as­pir­ing to be­come school prin­ci­pals, vice-prin­ci­pals and mid­dle man­agers, the prime min­is­ter said this move by the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry is wel­come.

Hol­ness was de­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress at the 2016/17 LASCO Teacher and Prin­ci­pal of the Year awards cer­e­mony, held at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel in New Kingston on Tues­day.

The prime min­is­ter said that one of the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor’s long-stand­ing chal­lenges is the ap­point­ment of teach­ers with­out the req­ui­site ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­pe­ri­ence as prin­ci­pals and then retrofitting them with the skills to man­age the schools.

Hol­ness noted that each time this tran­si­tion is done, the sec­tor ends up with a three or four-year gap.

“We are en­trust­ing to our schools the pre­cious minds, the hu­man An­drew Hol­ness re­source, the skills and com­pe­tence of the fu­ture, so the man­age­ment of the school (is) absolutely im­por­tant,” Hol­ness said.

The prime min­is­ter said the at­tain­ment of aca­demic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion alone is not ad­e­quate to re­po­si­tion per­sons for in­sti­tu­tional lead­er­ship po­si­tions.

“So, the idea be­hind NCEL was to cre­ate a staff col­lege where per­sons who were ex­ist­ing school lead­ers and per­sons who ... as­pire to be school lead­ers had prac­ti­cal hands-on ex­pe­ri­ences of the stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures that the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion had cer­ti­fied,” he added.

In this re­gard, Hol­ness, a for­mer ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter, lauded the min­istry’s de­ci­sion as a “good move that will strengthen the man­age­ment and lead­er­ship of our schools”.

The prime min­is­ter also com­mended the Ja­maica Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (JTA) for en­dors­ing the move. “This will make our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem much stronger,” he added.

Mean­while, ed­u­ca­tion, youth and in­for­ma­tion min­is­ter, Sen­a­tor Ruel Reid, said the NCEL is piv­otal in the thrust to­wards ca­pac­ity-build­ing within the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

He pointed out that the col­lege’s man­date is to de­velop lead­er­ship within the sys­tem by pro­vid­ing strate­gic ini­tia­tives to as­sist ad­min­is­tra­tors.

“Scores of prin­ci­pals have availed them­selves of this op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther de­velop their skills, and I would en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same,” Reid added.

St El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal High School (STETHS) prin­ci­pal, Keith Welling­ton, and teacher at the in­sti­tu­tion, Kerene Nel­son, copped the 2016/17 LASCO Teacher and Prin­ci­pal of the Year awards.

CA­PAC­ITY BUILD­ING

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