22/07/2018 – Jamaica Gleaner. / Twenty-six school leaders in the Turks and Caicos Islands were recent beneficiaries of an intensive two-week leadership development training programme facilitated by the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The team led was led by NCEL‘s principal/director Taneisha Ingleton and included Director of Programmes Kadia Hylton-Fraser; Director of Quality Assurance Timar Stephenson; Programme Managers Philando Neil and Keriffe Clark; Systems Administrator Collin Bailey, and Programmes Administrator Monique Kelly, along with six facilitators with expertise in educational leadership.
The partnership forms part of the efforts of the Turks and Caicos Islands‘ Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services to strengthen the leadership capabilities of its school leaders and to equip them with the necessary skills and competencies that are required to lead effective schools in the 21st century.
Competency based training Eight critical modules offered in Round One of the NCEL‘s Effective Principals’ Training Programme to 26 school leaders at the Blue Haven Resort in Providenciales from July 9-19.
The main objective of the competency based training was to expose the principals to key areas of school leadership that will enable them to drive instructional leadership across all disciplines and engage in intense exploration, analysis and evaluations of solutions to authentic problems of practice with the aim of raising student performance.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services Wesley Clerveaux emphasised the importance placed by the TCI on providing a robust and quality education system that is supported by effective school leaders. Clerveaux stated that the Turks and Caicos Islands‘ Government was giving absolute priority to education; intensifying efforts to assist young scholars in achieving excellence and taking bold steps to improve the education system.
“The programme offered by NCEL will provide an interactive forum for the participants to share, explore and discuss concepts and issues relating to a good education system,” he said.
In his message, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Jamaica, Dean-Roy Bernard, articulated that “this relationship reflects that collaborative approaches are critical to ensuring success in our educational imperatives. I am indeed proud of the National College for Educational Leadership that continues to systematically design, develop and implement leadership interventions that are robust, contextual and fit for purpose.”
He also noted that education leaders should be exposed to growth possibilities to develop and enhance the requisite competencies needed to craft visions, inspire actions and empower others.
Ingleton also emphasised the importance of implementing professional development for school leaders that was targeted and contextual stating that this was an investment that would yield positive results. She charged participants to be deliberate in developing a collaborative network for a community of practice to build their knowledge base and share solutions.
Impact of Training Deanne Wiskey-John, principal of Long Bay High (Junior School) in the Turks and Caicos Islands described the first week of the engagement as informative. “The programme is very instrumental at this time as it has helped me to develop my action plan and school development plan. The training brings focus to what I do as a school leader and I know that with the support of the facilitators and with the guidance of the NCEL I will be able to set and achieve targets over the next term and over the course of the year going forward.
“The leadership of mathematics session was particularly enlightening as it provided the opportunity for me to inspire my teachers and improve their practice. I think that all the courses have added much value for me so that I can coach and guide my teachers,” she said.
Subsequent to the training, principals will be engaged in a three month intervention which will require them to apply the leadership lessons taught in at least four of the modules to which they were exposed. An assessment will follow and this will determine the competency rating for certification.
The National College for Educational Leadership was established in 2011 as an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information tasked with developing leaders for the education system. To date, the National College has trained over 900 school principals in Jamaica in the Effective Principals’ Training Programme. The National College has also provided leadership training regionally to the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla. Other leadership training services offered by the National College target the training of aspiring principals, bursars and school board chairmen through an array of leadership development programmes.