Under the theme: “Empowering head teachers for accountable School Management,” a conference/retreat was held by the Regional Education Department of Region 10 for 24 nursery school head teachers.
The two-day [August 28-29] event held at the Splashmins Resort and Hotel represented the first such event to be hosted by the Region 10 Education Department. However, word out of the Department suggests that it will be an annual affair.
In welcoming participants to the event, District Education Officer for Nursery, Ms. Youlanda Mentis, said that its objective was geared towards their holistic development. In fact, she made it clear that it was poised to provide them with a platform for the general development of the quality of education and care offered at the nursery level.
Among the objectives of the retreat shared by Mentis was for “nursery school administrators to acquire the necessary skills and competencies to be effective and efficient school managers; effectively implement policies of the Ministry of Education while being creative and energetic change agents and to be able to assist teachers as they implement the Nursery Curriculum.”
According to the nursery officer, the Regional Education Department is aggressively empowering and further developing its teachers so as to ensure that the end results of students’ performances can match the investment that the region has made. “We at the Department are cognisant that for head teachers to be effective, and for them to bring about desired changes, they must be knowledgeable of what is transpiring within the realm of education, not only regionally but nationally. Moreover, it is believed that “head teachers are the key individuals to motivate teachers within the schools and to pilot the vision of the Ministry of Education,” Mentis said.
The initiatives being executed by the department have been fully endorsed and supported by Central Ministry, Mentis said, even as she pointed out that recognising the roles played by head teachers is of paramount importance to the overall development of its teachers and students. “As a result, the Department of Education, and by extension the Ministry of Education, has invested and plans to ensure that all head teachers are equipped with the knowledge and competencies to realise this aforementioned vision, hence workshops such as these will be held,” Mentis said.
The workshop therefore saw the educators being engaged in meaningful activities relating to Effective School Management and other areas intended to give them new ideas to assist and motivate their teachers to enhance their delivery in the classrooms. This, Mentis said, will in turn impact the learners’ performance for better output.
Regional Education Officer (REdO), Rabindra Singh, underscored the importance of the training even as he reminded the head teachers of the very critical role they play within the education sector. For this reason, he urged them to be effective and efficient. He too enlightened the head teachers to the fact that their teachers will emulate their performances, which will in turn affect the performance of those within their charge. He went on to quiz the head teachers on a number of issues including how they usually utilise their August holiday.
He said, “You are very familiar with many children who play throughout their August holidays and their parents do not mandate time for them to read or other uplifting activities before they return to school… and with the return to school, they are unable to properly adapt.”
This, he said, is similar among teachers and even head teachers who spend all of their spare time “enjoying themselves and not seeking to enhance and or upgrade their knowledge and skills set.” “I remind you about the pivotal importance of utilising some of your spare time to focus on advancing yourself so that ultimately your teachers and students can benefit significantly, as while you may have other things to do with your time, remember that you must be on top of your game so that you can continue to serve at the highest possible standards,” REdO Singh said as he made it clear that head teachers are the leaders of the institutions entrusted to them. He therefore challenged them to see improvements in every aspect of their school life, stressing the need for them to build closer relationships with parents so that they too can better impact on their children’s life. “If you are going to give direction, then you must be cognisant of what you are doing. I am saying that you have to lead and motivate, and delegate your staff with responsibilities. Remember as HMs, it’s your responsibility to help to build successful schools, so put all the negative things aside and do what you have been entrusted to do and that is to lead from the front,” the Regional Education Officer declared.
Meanwhile, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Orrin Gordon, in his address congratulated REdO Singh and team for what, he said, has been their proactive approach to education within the region. He urged them to continue along this path while stressing on the importance of training.
The REO went on to give assurance that as head of the regional administration, he will continue to lend whatever valuable assistance and support is needed so as to ensure that they can achieve their set objectives and targets. “Trainings like these are critically important for the holistic and general development of our human resources within the region, and I am happy with the initiative that the education department has been embarking upon. I trust that the participants at this conference/retreat would utilise the knowledge gained so that they can impart to teachers at their respective schools as education is a continuous process. As leaders within the sector, it’s important that they continue to remember that,” REO Gordon added.
Assistant Chief Education Officer Nursery (ACEO), Ms. Samantha Williams, also graced the conference/retreat and engaged the participants in discussions aimed at helping to strengthen and further sensitise them on their roles and responsibilities.
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