Leadership change can make 'huge difference' in Pakistan schools

 

Leadership change can make  huge difference in Pakistan schools

Dubai - Many Pakistani schools have been in the spotlight because of low rankings given to them by the UAE authorities.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Sun 23 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2019, 10:59 AM

School principals should be "leaders and not bosses" to improve quality of academic institutions, educators have said.
The 'Leaders and Teachers Training' workshop, organised by the Pakistan Association in Dubai (PAD), saw the participation of principals from 13 Pakistani academic institutions.
Many Pakistani schools have been in the spotlight because of low rankings given to them by the UAE authorities. However, there has been an increased effort in improving quality, especially by bringing new leadership on board.
Momina Riaz, one of the educators who led the leader's workshop, said: "Most leadership have a low understanding of the framework (given by the Ministry of Education). They don't understand what school inspectors look for when they do inspections. Of course, it's not fair to blame them that they're not doing anything - they lack the resources and have a high teacher turnover.
"The leadership makes a huge difference. There is a lack of trust between the teachers and the leadership. Some principals act like bosses. At the workshop, we had a conversation about the difference between manager, leader and boss. The middle management described the leadership as bosses, who give orders and don't take into account what department heads go through. It's like dictatorship where they believe 'it has to be my way' or 'I know'. That needs to change. It has to be distributive and instructional leadership - that's the word that was used very often at the workshop."
Samina Shaheen, the new principal who joined Pakistani Higher Secondary School in Ras Al Khaimah five months ago, said she has made "several improvements" at her school. A total of 632 students attend this institution, compared to 500 a few months ago.
She has been in the education industry for nearly 20 years and believes that all educators - whether new or old - need training workshops.
"I definitely use instructional leadership and I am in favour of delegation of powers. I've dedicated powers to my committees, vice-principal and section heads. I've told them that I'm a facilitator. Even if I'm not in the school, it should be run smoothly."
Khaleej Times had previously reported the journey of another new principal who improved his school's rating from 'weak' to 'acceptable'. The His Highness Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan School in Dubai was rated as 'weak' for seven consecutive years. Imran Waheen, principal of the school, said he launched an improvement plan immediately when he joined the school last year.
The Pakistani Community Welfare School in Abu Dhabi has also drawn out an improvement plan, which includes focusing on reading and writing skills of students.
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com



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