The Challenging Roles of a School Principal

School principals are the key leaders in our educational system. They are responsible of carrying out the school vision and mission. School Principals play integral roles in making schools function smoothly. They are involved in all aspects of the school’s operation. They are the leaders responsible in providing leadership in the development and implementation of all educational programs and projects in the school. They play a vital role in achieving the government’s aim to provide quality basic education.

It is evident that the quest for quality education has resulted in a number of initiatives which have made significant demands on principals in public schools to transform leadership towards improved school performance, among which is the practice of School-Based Management (SBM).

The roles and responsibilities of the school principals in School – Based Management has changed significantly. It is believed that SBM captures the whole thing in the school as an institution of learning.

School principals have to face new challenges brought forth by advances in technology and higher expectations on education from the community, these include the use of information technology to support teaching and learning; adaptation of the school curriculum to suit the ability and disposition of the young children as to maximize their potential and not to give up on each individual pupil; increasing community expectations for improvements to the educational  system and the quality of learning processes and outcomes; a growing awareness of teacher professionalism; globalization of the world economy and the emergence of a knowledge-based economy which demands workers with multiple intelligence and creativity; life-long learning and the notion of school as a learning organization.

Republic Act No. 9155, Chapter 1 Section No. 7, Letter E, Paragraph 3 states that consistent with the national educational policies, plans and standards, the school heads shall have the Authority, Responsibility and Accountability (AuRA) in managing all affairs of the school. Thus, the success and failure of the school depends of the kind of school principal it has.

It simply means that the lives of the school principals are packed with challenges. What matters most is the manner how these are dealt with. Hence, school leadership in the context of SBM is very challenging. It requires a paradigm shift, from the traditional way of management. It also requires change, collegiality, teamwork, and even efficiency and effectiveness.

These new challenges require school principals to take on new leadership skills in quality development and quality assurance. They also highlight the need for more focused and systematic school leadership training and development programs to enhance the quality of school leadership they already possess.

The government through the Department of Education should take into account the training needs of the school principals in the context of School-Based Management down to its minute details to fully capacitate them towards the full implementation of the program as it captures the whole educational system.

By: Jesus V. Muring, Ed. D.
      ESP II, Managok Elementary School
      Malaybalay City East District