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  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has reiterated that persons aspiring to become school leaders must be certified under the Aspiring Principals Programme.
  • The programme will provide a standard credential, the Professional Qualification for Principalship (PQP), to which the Ministry of Education and school boards will refer, before authorising the hiring of principals of public schools.
  • The second cohort of the Aspiring Principals Programme is now underway having started in March.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has reiterated that persons aspiring to become school leaders must be certified under the Aspiring Principals Programme.

“I am very reluctant to sign the appointment of any principal, who has not satisfied the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) requirements, not because of any bad mind, but simply because it is the new gold standard for qualification for Principalship,” he said.

Rev. Thwaites was addressing graduates of the Aspiring Principals Programme today (April 14), during a ceremony held at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters in Kingston.

Rev. Thwaites noted that currently the role of the principal is changing.”The accountability of principals is going to become a characteristic of the new order brokered by the Jamaica Teaching Council legislation (through) the reform of the education code,” he said.

As such, he said, leaders of schools should not be appointed on the basis of seniority and political affiliation, but purely on the basis on their competence as leaders.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Elaine Foster Allen, noted that having competent schools leaders is critical to the success of the education system.

“We have always thought that great leaders, teachers, principals are essential to the performance of our schools and the outcomes of our children. So, it is with joy to see this bright, cheerful group of younger people, who have put themselves forward to carry the baton,” Mrs. Foster Allen said.

“I am delighted, as I have heard that you have done exceptionally well and not only have you undergone the training, some of you have already been engaged,” she added.

Mrs. Foster Allen told the graduates that leading a school requires all the gifts, talents and abilities that they possess.

Thirty-five persons graduated from the nine-month modular programme, offered through the NCEL, which is one of the agencies of the Ministry that is engaged in the task of improving education outcomes. The training programme aims to identify and prepare future principals.

It is delivered at the Mona and Western Jamaica campuses of the University of the West Indies, on a part time basis, by way of face-to-face instruction, distance learning, coaching and mentorship.

The programme will provide a standard credential, the Professional Qualification for Principalship (PQP), to which the Ministry of Education and school boards will refer, before authorising the hiring of principals of public schools.

The second cohort of the Aspiring Principals Programme is now underway having started in March.