JIS: Ninety aspiring principals have been equipped with the skills and competencies to prepare them to assume leadership roles at the nation’s public schools.

 

These individuals, who were trained under the National College for Educational Leadership’s (NCEL) Aspiring Principals Programme, were presented with certificates, during a graduation exercise on Tuesday (July 9), at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus.

 

They are the fifth cohort to benefit from the 10-month training programme offered through UWI, equipping them with the Professional Qualification for Principalship (PQP).

 

Covered under the training are five critical areas of effective leadership for school success – transformational leadership, instructional leadership, organisational leadership, community leadership, and sustained school interventions.

 

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, who brought greetings, congratulated the graduates on achieving another milestone in their professional development and encouraged them to seek the assistance of the Ministry in executing their duties.

 

“If the facilities that you have at the school do not lend themselves to the growth and development of the whole child, then what I am expecting and pleading with you to do is to sound the alarm bell. Don’t take on the task of correcting difficulties that you are ill-equipped to correct because you need resources,” he said.

 

Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr. Grace McLean, in a message read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Barbara Allen, noted that the NCEL, through the training programme, is preparing educators to lead transformational change in institutions.

 

“We are mindful that we have a common goal of working towards the improvement of our schools. We want to applaud the team of NCEL for the work that they have been doing.

 

“The team continues to provide training and professional development programmes for leaders across the education sector, with a view of building on existing competences and keeping educational leaders abreast of current good practices and trends,” Dr. McLean said in her message.

 

She noted that an important aspect of transformational leadership is building a positive relationship with students.

 

“We cannot be excellent leaders if we do not work well with our students. We must listen and show that we care, so that students will be encouraged to excel,” she said.

 

“Transformational leadership must be the catalyst that encourages all stakeholders to give of their time and other contributions to improving the learning outcomes of our children,” she added.

 

In her remarks, Director of Programmes, NCEL, Dr. Cheryl McLaughlin, said the training seeks to provide highly trained, effective school leaders to ensure the best educational outcomes for students.

 

“In order for there to be a steady stream of highly qualified school principals, the national college, through the APP, has created a robust principal pipeline, which ensures the continuous availability of principal aspirants, who are able to fill these positions nationwide,” she noted.

 

Established in 2011, the programme seeks to adequately prepare individuals for the task of the principalship prior to their being in the post. The objective is to ensure that they have the competencies needed to operate effectively in an increasingly demanding environment.

 

The NCEL provides continuous professional development for leaders across the education sector with a view to building on existing competencies and keeping them abreast of current practices and trends.

 

CAPTION: Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Winnie Berry (right) presents participant of the Aspiring Principals Programme (APP), Fitzroy Abbott with a certificate at the programme's presentation ceremony on Tuesday (July 9) at the Mona Visitors' Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus. Ninety participants from the fifth cohort graduated from the programme this year. The APP programme is hosted by the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL).