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Caribbean Journal of Education

Training School Principals: A Timely Plea

Publication Date: 
September 1982

The job of administering schools has become increasingly complex because of the many societal changes occasioning new demands on the school. Principals are held accountable for administration of their schools, and their effectiveness depends largely on their ability to respond appropriately to the many changing internal and external demands, and to maintain the stability and cohesiveness necessary to the achievement of established goals. School administrators generally seem unprepared for this role, and a study of secondary-school administrators done by James (1975) indicated that they were not fully aware of the new demands made on them nor sufficiently competent to cope with these demands. The situation in many schools in Jamaica seems to testify to the need for comprehensive training programmes to prepare principals to deal with curriculum development and instruction, staff and student personnel, school-community relations, school management, and professional development. The current policy of selecting principals largely on the basis of academic qualification and successful classroom teaching is inadequate for school administration today. The short workshops and seminars held from time to time by the Ministry of Education, CARSEA, and the Jamaica Teachers' Association are not enough. Comprehensive training programmes, both in-service and pre-service, are urgently needed if the schools are to operate effectively.

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