NOW IS THE TIME: School principals urged to access leadership training online

Director/Principal of National College for Educational Leadership, Dr. Taneisha Ingleton. (Photo: JIS)

Director/Principal of the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), Dr. Taneisha Ingleton, is encouraging school principals and administrators who are at home due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to utilise its online platforms to continue their leadership training.

She said that through the entity’s website, YouTube and Facebook pages, programme participants can access a range of video and audio clips on various topics.

These include curriculum implementation, visioning, teacher leadership, emotional intelligence in leadership, and partnership and stakeholder engagement.                                          

“The college went full speed in developing video and audio around these topics so that our principals can be kept engaged during crises like the COVID-19. These bite-size videos facilitate principals and leaders who are on the go and are seeking new ways and approaches to improve and enhance his or her practice,” she noted.

“Now that the principals are at home, they have over 30 learning videos they can access to learn different approaches to leadership,” Ingleton added.

NCEL was established in 2011 to equip school leaders with the competencies required to ensure that schools operate effectively in an increasingly demanding environment.

To achieve its mandate, NCEL provides continuous professional development for leaders across the education sector with a view to building on existing competencies and to keep them abreast of current practices and trends.

 Dr. Ingleton contended that NCEL recognises the importance of technology in delivering its programmes, and for the past two years has developed its online platforms “to ensure that stakeholders are consistently engaged whenever and wherever they are”.              

As she sees it, the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity for programme participants to complete courses online and at their own pace.

“I think, in hindsight, we were preparing for something like this. I am happy that NCEL has all of these online platforms that are fully supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information,” Dr. Ingleton said.

Meanwhile, Acting Principal of the Duanvale Primary School in Trelawny, Beverly Canningan, who accessed training through NCEL’s online platforms, said in addition to the leadership training, she is also better equipped technologically to lead her team at this time.

“With the challenges COVID-19 presents, because of the access that I have during my training, I am more proficient in the use of online platforms,” she told JIS News.

“I have been using videoconferencing to keep in touch with my team, so we are able to have a full day of school even though we are away from the physical plant,” she noted.                                                             

Principal of the Ferncourt High School in St Ann, Sheldon Thomas, who participated in the college’s Child-friendly School programme recently, credited his exposure to the content, which was fully administered online, with being able to ensure that students are engaged in the teaching and learning processes during the COVID-19 crisis.  He explained that lessons are delivered through Facebook, WhatsApp, and are also uploaded to a Google site.