Govt launches school leadership programme to improve quality of education

NEW DELHI: In order to push for quality in school education, HRD ministry has launched a massive school leadership programme that would eventually train principals of nearly 12 lakh primary and secondary schools in the country.

To be executed by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration through its National Centre for School Leadership and state level institutions like State Councils of Educational Research and Training and similar bodies, leadership programme's ultimate aim is to empower schools.

Simultaneously, HRD ministry has also finalized parameters on which school's performance would be evaluated either through self-assessment or outside agency.

Training principals is the first step towards infusing schools with quality. Senior HRD officials said the programme is likely to be completed within three years. Pilot of the leadership programme was carried out in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

Other states like Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh also partook of the exercise. Leadership programme has been drawn after a close study of best international and national practices.

Leadership programme is geared towards decentralization of school administration and empowering school principals to take administrative, pedagogic and financial decisions. They will be trained in six critical areas ranging from innovations, teaching-learning process, school leadership and developing self. Stress will not only be on school quality but also equity. The framework on school leadership also takes into account context-specific needs of school heads and is not one-size-fits-all recipe to improve workings of school.

Ministry officials also said the entire exercise will not be limited to training alone but there will be impact evaluation also. Feedback will be taken from the principal as well as from outsiders. In the ultimate analysis it has to be seen if school's performance has improved or not. "Evidence-based feedback will be required," a senior ministry official said.

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