By Frederick Philander
The third annual conference of the National Principals’ Association will take place next weekend at the coast, it was announced in a press release.
“The conference promises to be a mind-changing experience. Calls for school leadership that translates into enhanced learner achievement have never been so strong. The conference will provide practical and research based guidance for those who face the daily challenges of leading a school,” said Dennis Fredericks, one of the conference organisers.
According to him, whether a school operates effectively or not increases or decreases a learner’s chances of academic success.
“Learners in effective schools have a better chance to be successful in school as opposed to ineffective schools. In many ways the school principal is the most important and influential individual in any school. He or she is the person responsible for all activities that occur in and around the school building. It is the principal’s leadership that sets the tone of the school, the climate for teaching, the level of professionalism and morale of teachers, and the degree of concern for what learners may or may not become,” Fredericks said.
In his view, the principal is the main link between the community and the school, and the way he or she performs in this capacity largely determines the attitudes of parents and learners about the school.
“If a school is a vibrant, innovative, child-centred place and if it has a reputation for excellence in teaching, if learners are performing to the best of their ability, one can almost point to the principal’s leadership as the key to success,” he said.
The conference will take place at Namib High School in Swakopmund.
Some of the conference objectives include facilitating professional growth of principals, exposing delegates to the latest trends and philosophies in education, encouraging the establishment of professional networks, fostering communication among schools and to encourage the establishment of regional principal associations.
An invitation to attend the conference has been extended to all principals, deputy principals, heads of departments of pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, directors of education, inspectors of education, education officers, members of school boards, representatives of Teachers’ Unions as well as community and business people, who have an interest in education.
Presenters at the conference include: Dr Joseph Diecho, Dr Gavin Keller from South Africa, Dr Melodie de Jager, Dr L Mostert, Rod Braby and Michelle McClean.
Some of the topics to be covered at the conference are: effective leadership in Namibian schools and the way forward; the resilient leader; brain-based teaching; SUMO for leaders; mind moves and introduction to new vocational training.