Samuda has declared unwaveringly, that the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL)
is relevant to the future of education in Jamaica. The Acting Education
Minister has recently dismissed the JTA call for Principals to be appointed
without NCEL training.
Jamaica would like to examine the call by first asking, what are the benefits of
getting rid of NCEL and who will be the ultimate victor in the absence of such
an organisation. Is there an area of professional expertise or activity in the
world that requires no training or professional development? If you see a man
or woman riding a bicycle and he or she tells you, they are good at driving a
car would you just give them your keys or would you want to see their driving license?
Do all great football or track athletes make good managers? The single answer
to all the questions asked is no. So with that said, not every good teacher makes
a good leader.
a principal is not about being a good or great teacher. Being a good principal
is about leading, managing people and making excellent decisions. These are
skills and unfortunately not everyone possess them and subsequently they must
be taught and developed. Whether or not you believe you already know it, there
should be checks done to ensure that is the case. Being responsible for the
safety, well-being and learning for hundreds of children is a serious matter.
Being the leader and decision maker for a large number of teachers who have
their own ideas, their own thoughts and own sense of direction is not an easy
job, when as the principal you are expected to get all these differing
individuals to come along with you on a journey with everyone heading in the
same direction (not an easy task).
Jamaica is Surprised that in an education System where the majority of students
are underperforming and so many schools are failing, we believe that NCEL
leadership training is irrelevant and should be abandoned. We find such a
suggestion very troubling. We
are calling on all the relevant stakeholders in education to review their
position on this matter.