JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Principal of Windward Road Primary and Junior High School in Kingston, Norman Malcolm, is among over 170 Jamaicans who will be conferred with National Honours.
  • Mr. Malcolm will receive the Badge of Honour for long and faithful service to education.
  • Mr. Malcolm is described as a very interactive Principal.

Principal of Windward Road Primary and Junior High School in Kingston, Norman Malcolm, is among over 170 Jamaicans who will be conferred with National Honours and Awards by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at Kings House on National Heroes Day, Monday, October 21.

Mr. Malcolm will receive the Badge of Honour for long and faithful service to education, adding to his already impressive résumé of awards.

Other honours which the distinguished educator has received include: the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education; the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Golden Torch Award; and the Ministry of Education’s Teacher of Excellence Award. He is also a two-time Lasco Principal of the Year nominee.

Windward Road Primary’s Vice Principal, Noel Pennant, who nominated Mr. Malcolm for the National Award, describes him as a very interactive Principal.

“I nominated Mr. Malcolm because I believed it was time for him to be recognized for the work he has been doing. He has a passion for all things that are educational. He locates resources and ensures that his teachers and students have all they need to function adequately and progress. He is very deserving of this award,” Mr. Pennant explains.

Having had his life transformed through education, Mr. Malcolm, a man of humble origins, has made it his mission to facilitate a similar experience for his students.

“Education is responsible for where I am today. And if it did that for me, I am entrusted to ensure that it does the same for everyone who comes under my care; that is my daily drive. So it, sometimes, makes no sense (that) I have an office, because my job is to be on the school grounds, in the classroom, where everything is happening,” he tells JIS News.

In advancing his mission, this transformational leader has sought to continuously improve Windward Road Primary’s physical appearance and enhance its curricular and non-curricular deliverables.

With the help of his staff, Mr. Malcolm has piloted several initiatives at the school. These entailed construction of three rooms, inclusive of a computer lab and a reading room, with assistance from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) which provided approximately $26 million for the undertaking.

This particular initiative has served to strengthen the relationship between the school and residents of adjacent communities, who were recruited to carry out construction activities.

“The wall at the school gate says: ‘The School Belongs to the Community, Protect It’…we strongly believe this. We have not had a break in for the past 10 years (as) community members protect the school. We enjoy an extraordinary relationship with community,” the Principal shares.

Under Mr. Malcolm’s stewardship, Windward Primary’s academic performance has improved significantly. This is partly attributable to his firm belief in the use of technology to advance the institution’s learning/teaching experience.

Through this thrust, the institution has, among other things, been able to win the ‘Flow in My School Technology Competition’, which identifies and recognizes institutions integrating technology in their curriculum.

“We are proud to say that we were able to challenge some traditional high schools and we came out as victors. We also take pride in the fact that we are the leaders in the initiative to integrate technology and education,” the proud Principal states.

The school’s latest technological pursuit is the use of Mimio technology in the classrooms. The Mimio Teach interactive system is attached to a wall or dry-erase board using magnets and is, thereafter, connected to a projector and computer.

The Mimio system is operated using a stylus pen attached to a computer, which is calibrated to the Mimio Teach system. This enables the user to manipulate the contents of their computer while these are displayed on the dry erase board.

“All our classrooms have white boards that can use this type of technology and our students are quite familiar with its use,” Mr. Malcolm highlights.

The Principal says based on Windward Road Primary and Junior High’s exemplary track record, the students enrolled recognize and acknowledge it as an institution of excellence and a school of choice. “The fact that a student is at this institution means that their lives have been transformed,” he says.

Mr. Malcolm attributes the school’s accomplishments, under his stewardship to a very supportive and dedicated complement if staff. “I, probably, have the finest staff in all of Jamaica, who are highly motivated. Everyone here shares our vision, from the man at the gate, right up,” he points out

Evidence of this, he cites, is borne out in the fact that he has been able to encourage teachers to come to school at least 30 minutes before the scheduled commencement of classes, to assist students with their assignments, as well as facilitate interaction with parents. This interaction, he says, better enables parents to assist their children with home work, adding that “the students perform better, as a result.”

Mr. Malcolm describes his tenure at Windward Road Primary and Junior High School as a “fulfilling experience”, while noting that due recognition has been given to all the work that he and his team have done over the years. He also offers encouraging advice to fellow educators.

“All of us in the field of education need to understand that we are a part of a transformation process. We are here to make a difference in our children’s life and we need to become motivated. (Memories of) the child that you fail to help meet his or her needs will come back to haunt you. If you are not yet motivated, get motivated and do the job you were entrusted to do,” he urges.