Commissioner to principals: Value relationships

The relationship between school principals and members of the school based management committees is not always so smooth.

Having served as a principal in about four schools, the Lagos State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo knows that too well.

She shared her coping skills with principals and other participants at a training for public school principals and SBMC members organised by the Human Development Initiatives (HDI) last Thursday at the R&A Hotel, Ikeja.

Mrs. Adefisayo advised the principals to learning to work cordially with members of their Parents Forum and SBMC, saying they could become their biggest supporters and advocates.

“The second most critical factor is the quality of school leadership.  And school leadership is embodied in you in the school. When you are the principal of a school, you are the CEO; you are the leader.  So I hope you are ready to take your responsibilities and lead your school.  I have been principal myself and I have worked with boards, school owners and others.

“If you work well with the SBMC, you will enjoy your principalship. Who will they say did all the work? When WAEC result is good, who will they say did it?  When the children go for competitions and come first, who did it? But tell the truth, did you do it all?

“If you agree to work with your SBMC and you don’t look at them like your enemy, let me tell you, you will enjoy it.”

Speaking further in an interview, Mrs. Adefisayo urged SBMC members to recognise principals and leaders of the schools and support them to improve quality education delivery in schools.

“They have to realsie that the principal remains the CEO and the head of that organisation.  But they are to support the CEO and their teachers in delivering quality education to that school. That is their job.  It is a supportive role. And to do whatever they can in cooperation with the school to move their school forward,” she said.

Executive Director, HDI, Mr. Olufunso Owasanoye said the training was organised to address the problems that had been noticed between school managers and SBMCs.

“Sometimes back and from reports we get that the relationship between principals and SBMC is not smooth and there tends to be misunderstanding.  That is why we intentionally included a session on emotional intelligence in the training because your attitude goes a long way.  If you want to relate with somebody, your presentation, composure, tone matters a lot.  Before you can support someone there must be a good rapport.  In all these, we just want to have a conducive learning environment for our children,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja urged the participants to cascade the training to principals and SBMC members who were not present.

The participants were taken through various sessions including: “Composition, roles and responsibilities of SBMC in School Development by Mrs. Adebodun Dosunmu; and Resource Mobilisation and School Development Planning for Quality Education in Lagos State.

Obatayo Joel of Ijaiye Housing Estate Junior Grammar School said of the training: “This is a very nice prgoramme. It is good move educating and supporting the community.”


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