Fellowships Awarded to Aspiring Principals

Posted: 04.01.2014
The National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) has selected the first cohort of individuals for its Aspiring Principals’ Programme which is being offered in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The selection represents a significant move for NCEL, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education mandated to develop excellent school and system leadership, particularly in response to concerns and various pieces of research that have identified weak school leadership as a major contributor to poor student outcomes.
At an orientation exercise held on Saturday, March 22, forty-five individuals who were selected from 277 applicants each received a fellowship to pursue the programme which UWI will offer  at its Mona and Montego Bay campuses. The fellowships for the first cohort of aspiring principals have been made available through the Education System Transformation.
On successful completion of the programme, the aspiring principals, who are mainly senior teachers or vice principals of local public schools, will be awarded a Professional Qualification for Principalship (PQP). The PQP is a professional designation which certifies competence and provides exposure to the Ministry’s policies and programmes which enhances the readiness of school leaders to succeed at the job of Principal. Subject to the passage of the appropriate policy and support legislation, only educators with a PQP will be eligible for appointment to the post of principal of any public school in Jamaica.
At the orientation exercise held at the Graduate Lecture Theatre at the UWI’s Mona School of Business and Management, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Evan Duggan said he was elated that the UWI was successful in its bid to develop and deliver this unique programme on behalf of the NCEL. He congratulated the participants and urged them to seize the opportunity as they embark on a journey that will equip them with the requisite skills and competencies.

Director/Principal of the NCEL, Dr. Maurice Smith, asserted that the orientation exercise was the outcome of a highly competitive recruitment process and that the work done to determine the recipients of the fellowships represented the cumulative effort of several individuals and entities. According to him, the selection process included psychometric assessments of applicants.
The reports have been made available to the awardees so as to inform their self-assessment and start them on their journey for their own personal development planning.
The competency based, year-long programme comprises four modules and a field experience that will require the aspiring principals to demonstrate particular capabilities in critical areas of school leadership.
At the orientation session the individuals were told that they were being placed on an accelerated pathway, which would require them to attend more classes each week, in order to complete the programme in six months.
NCEL’s Aspiring Principals’ Programme complements the Effective Principals Programme which targets practising principals of public schools. More than 400 school and system leaders have already received training under the on-going Effective Principals’ Training Programme.

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