School leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning and cannot be ignored. The question that many people ask is what makes one school to be a high-performance institution and another school to record poor results?
Our nation’s underperforming schools and children are unlikely to succeed until we get serious about leadership. School leadership refers to the deliberate effort to enlist and guide the talents and energies of teachers, students, parents, policy makers and other educational stakeholders towards achieving common educational goals and academic success. This can be achieved through collaborations to improve the education process, materials and training. Educational institutions need leaders who have a vision for improving and ensuring quality in learning and management. This begins from the top levels of ministry to the basic level of parents ensuring there is a clear plan on how to promote student learning and growth.
In Kenya, there is a great concern over the type of leadership guiding and influencing our students. In the 43rd Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Annual Conference held in Mombasa in June 2018, the meeting highlighted some of the challenges facing care givers in whom we entrust our children. One of the agendas was how to address cases of laxity in performance and sexual harassment of students by teachers and school staff among others.
The education sector plays a key role in molding the future generation of this country. As such we cannot afford to take a back sit as we witness wrong doing and lowered standards in the sector. As different stakeholders it is important that we play our part to ensure our students get through the highest quality and standards of education despite being in a public or private institution. The backbone of how this will be implemented falls and rises on leadership.
The quality of training and qualification of school heads should be evaluated. It is also important to ensure that there is regular capacity building for these individuals to ensure they are in a position to influence good teaching and effective learning. We can have strategic training programs aimed at enhancing the care holders’ knowledge in working effectively with the school and education community at large.
It is with leadership development as one of the solutions, that we shall witness effective leadership and well-developed institutions in our education systems. This will automatically have a trickle effect among the different stakeholders eventually reaching the students.
Ass. Programmes Officer,
Schools Leadership Development.