Head teachers ordered back into class

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 June, 1999, 12:00am

Head teachers will have to undergo leadership training by 2007, it was announced yesterday.

If successful, they will qualify for a 'Certificate of Principalship' showing they have the skills to manage and lead their institutes in the new millennium, the Education Department said.

About 150 training places would be available between this year and next. The number would be increased to 200 in each of the following years.

Under the proposals, new principals must have a certificate by 2004 and serving principals by 2007.

Director of Education Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun yesterday released a consultation paper, 'Leadership Training Programme for Principals'. The public can comment up to July 17.

Mrs Law said participants would be expected to complete the part-time course in one year. They would be assessed and those with a satisfactory performance awarded certificates.

'There have been voices in the community about principal training. Since more schools should adopt school-based management, the principals should be trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude. They should become competent leaders to lead their schools into the new millennium,' said Mrs Law.

Assistant Director of Education Chong Kwok-kit said the programme would comprise five parts: Self-assessment; Leadership development; A set of core, elective and school-based modules; An individual school project; Final assessment.

Teachers or principals who want to join should be assessed and recommended by their sponsoring bodies and colleagues.

Each participant would be given one more chance to be assessed if they fail at their first try.

As an incentive, those who pass will have half their course fees refunded, with the maximum repayment set at $30,000.

Michael Wong Wai-yu, chairman of Hong Kong Association of Heads of Secondary Schools, welcomed the proposals but said the deadline of 2007 to train all principals was late.

He said: 'We have demanded such a programme for a long time. We hope the department can speed up the scheme so that by 2004 all new and serving principals should get the certificates.'