TALKING EDUCATION with TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA
Effective management of the school lies squarely on the head teacher, whose main task is to implement education policies. A well-informed head teacher, who has a vision, will strive to find a solution to the many challenges or problems encountered at their school. The school head teachers should be aware of the education system goals that are to be achieved based on teaching and learning. The school is a place where pupils are expected to learn; hence we need head teachers who are effective enough to ensure that teachers are providing learning to the learners every working day.
The school head teacher should administer the school in such a way that all members of both teaching and non-teaching staff function as a team. This serves as a good example to the pupils. Besides that, the school head teacher should know that the staff and pupils have a big part to play in decision-making in terms of school rules, regulations and programs. This is seen in the staff meeting where different committees are asked to present their reports.
On the other hand, pupils are represented in school councils and board meetings and are also asked to present their views and reports from fellow pupils. It is therefore very important for head teachers not to ignore the equally important stakeholders -pupils and teachers. Parents should also be fully involved during PTA and board meetings.
A school head teacher is also supposed to encourage and provide for the professional growth of his/her teachers. This can be achieved through properly planned serminars, workshops and in-service education programmes. Though it is not the duty of the school head teacher to use his /her pocket,Â ways and means should be found to ensure that more and more teachers are encouraged to undergo a variety of professional development courses which in the end benefit the pupils.
In order for the school to prosper, it requires an efficient and effective head teacher. The head of an institution must operate effectively in all areas of institutional governance. This simply means he or she should not only conceptualize the operation of the school but also act by possessing the knowledge and skills necessary to perform certain roles and tasks. The Zambian education system requires a cadre of head teachers who have multiple intellectual skills that will enable them to transform the school into one where individual strengths are recognised.
The head teacher also needs to be sociable for him to function effectively. He/she must have the ability to deal with human relations skills by being friendly, cheerful and approachable to the people. This can only be achieved if one becomes interested in the welfare and problems of his/her staff and pupils. We need head teachers who pay attention to the voice of the pupils as far as school management is concerned. In fact, if this approach is taken seriously, pupil protests and demonstrations can be avoided or prevented. Indeed head teachers need to have consideration for others in executing their duties effectively. It further means that they must display respect for human dignity in every member of staff. With an effective head teacher, pupils will most likely be accorded the much-needed conducive environment for learning.
It is important for the head teacher to put in place a well organized curriculum to be used locally. This should go with the acquisition of basic skills, defining learning objectives that are matched to identify teaching strategies and be able to assign certain functions to his staff and through committees. The head teacher must, therefore, not give people an impression that he/she is the most important and intelligent person in the school. He should always be humble, modest and avoid being boastful and arrogant. Teachers and pupils should be left to judge the head teacherâ€™s abilities.
An efficient head teacher encourages frequent homework for pupils, assessments and feedback. He/she must be the one who attends to correspondence quickly and informs his staff accordingly. We need head teachers who are able to motivate teachers by offering rewards and incentives during special occasions such as labour, women and teachers days without fear or favour.
In conclusion, it is very important for head teachers to win the respect and dignity of the teachers, non- teaching staff, pupils and the community. Once this is done, their job will be very easy because they will receive the much-needed cooperation and support from the stakeholders. In the end all the praises for the achievement will go to the school manager.
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TALKING EDUCATION with TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA