Starting June 1, school leaders across Jamaica will participate in a Virtual Instructional Leadership (VIL) online course, which will equip them with the skills and competencies to effectively manage institutions remotely.
Acting Chief Education Officer, Dr. Kasan Troupe, in a bulletin issued by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information recently, said with the suspension of classes in the physical learning environment school administrators have had to move teaching online and through distance learning platforms to keep students engaged and ensure the continuation of quality learning.
The course is designed to support the principals’ management and supervision of teachers using e-learning platforms.
Additionally, it will provide a strong foundation for teaching with technology and explore distance learning design and delivery, while offering strategies for instructional supervision, and management and sustainability of the school’s e-infrastructure.
Upon completion of the VIL, the participants will be able to use digital collaborative tools to enhance administrative duties from a distance, develop accountability systems to guide virtual engagement and supervision of staff, make educated decisions about the adoption of virtual learning environments and digital tools to support teaching and learning in their respective contexts. They will also be able to coach their staff members on the use of a selected online platform to enhance students’ learning experiences.
They will also be able to design psychosocial support systems/strategies to support teachers’ professional growth in a crisis, assess the information and communications technology (ICT) capability of their individual schools, provide recommendations for addressing challenges associated with transitioning to distance learning, and conduct a feasibility assessment to determine the most appropriate virtual learning environment for their unique school context.
Participants will include principals and vice-principals from early childhood, primary and secondary schools across the six educational administrative regions.
They will be trained in cohorts of 50, with five cohorts running concurrently, to have a total of 250 principals for each round. The training will be delivered every three weeks until all participants are reached.
The training programme is being developed by the Ministry through the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).