22 May 2013

Can school administrators become leaders?

Can school administrators become leaders? Or should they care at all to be one?

Indian Education system is today at the crossroads. On one side we are targeting higher gross enrollment ratios and increased access through Right to Education, on the other hand students across grades are not able to read and write in basic language skills. At one hand there is increased focus on providing skill based training & vocational education programmes and on the other hand there is acute shortage of skilled instructors and teachers in the country. Simply put, there are three basic challenges the Indian Education Sector faces: Expansion (reaching underserved areas and increased access at lower costs), Equity (better targeted interventions which include people from various socio-economic groups) and Excellence (focused on improving teacher learning and building research capability).
At the recently concluded, Global Education & Skills Forum, Former US President, Bill Clinton said, “It is projected that by 2050, 86 percent of the world’s children will be living in what are now developing countries. There is no way that governments alone or international aid flows alone will be able to provide those children with the quality of education they need to be full participants in global society.” This reinforces the important role that heads of institutes and school administrators will be required to play to transform the schools of tomorrow.
So how can school administrators and teachers become leaders?

Learn by doing – Take charge and responsibility over and above your area of work and work consistently toward improving your managerial and leadership skills.

Learn by Learning and Application – Enroll in leadership capability training programmes that help you graduate from a school teacher / principal to an education leader. For instance, the “Strategic Effective Management & Leadership” programme from Centum Learning can be a good starting point. The programme comprises of: comprehensive end-to-end training, extensive coverage comprising case studies, questionnaires & guided discussions and blended learning with a focus on customization, technical & soft skills.

Irrespective of how you navigate your way to be a leader, what is more important is that you get started on with it and play that crucial role in nation building. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Whatever you are, be a good one” and we need plenty of good school leaders and educators.

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