Leadership in schools

A workshop in Guwahati focused on cultivating leadership among the heads of private schools writes ANINDITA DAS

How good are you as a leader? What are the qualities you possess which exhibit your leadership ability? How successful have you been in doing so? How to develop your skills further as a leader? These were the issue addressed in the two days (July 2 and 3) workshop on Leadership, organised by All Assam Private Schools Association in Guwahati, under the supervision of the Secretary of the association Pankaj Das.

The Principals and administrators of about 20 schools from all over Assam participated in it. The first day session began with a presentation on PLC (Professional Learning Community) by Zulekha Lakhani, Curriculum Developer, Edge Learning. The enriching presentation on pedagogy, tracing the recent developments in teaching and learning, focussed on the notion that the entire process of education has undergone a huge change. “The traditional idea of a school no longer fits in today’s world. A school now is more of an organisation which fosters the feeling of a community — the community of learners, and unlike the traditional relation of teacher and student, now it altogether forms the “community of learners” she said. She also talked about the importance of providing adequate training to the teachers.

The second session was conducted by the veteran cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth, popularly known as Srikkanth, the former captain of Indian Cricket team. “You are all leaders — the school owners, the school correspondents, the Principals and the teachers,” he said. A leader according to him should be an achiever and also “as leaders your first job is to give confidence to your students and irrespective of their ability they need to be encouraged and motivated. We now require to shift and change our total outlook towards education,” he said.  “However the first level you cross as a successful leader is to get over the idea of ego. We must step down, we must go beyond the sense of ego. You must be confident of yourself, you should know what you can do and you cannot. The fearless positive approach is what makes a leader a leader. The passionate approach of Sachin Tendulkar made him what he is today,” he noted.

Srikkanth also insisted on using technology properly and paying importance to co-curricular activities along with studies. He opines that it is necessary to incorporate innovative ways of learning.   Bringing in the analogy of cricket in education, he said that the game of cricket can be also a medium to teach subjects like maths and English, making the students understand the concept easily. The world has changed, change is constant and that it is imperative to weave tradition to technology for better outcome as “At the end of the day we expect everyone to shine”, he said.

On July 3, the third and the last session included the presentation of Rohan Joshi, who represented the organization National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA). He made a detailed analysis of the prerequisites of being a leader. It was an enriching presentation which directed towards all the pros and cons of the responsibilities of being a leader in a school.

Right from solving the behavioural problems of the teachers to the matters dealing with the students and the parents, from maintaining balance of being objective as well as sharing responsibilities and power, the presentation fed almost all the queries of the participants regarding their role as a leader. The representatives of all the schools express their delight of being a part of the workshop and said would carry all the valuable ideas and suggestions with them which will positively help in making a difference in enacting their roles as leaders.

Anindita Das

Anindita Das

Born and brought up in Assam's Guwahati city, Anindita Das did her masters from Tezpur University and M.Phil from Gauhati University in English. She had previously worked as a lecturer in a college and is at present working as the Project fellow in the Department of English, Gauhati University. She is Senior Correspondent, The Thumb Print.