School principals face having to undergo 50 hours of training a year from September or risk losing their jobs, Director of Education Matthew Cheung Kin-chung announced yesterday. Under a proposal in a consultation paper, it would be compulsory for nearly 1,300 primary and secondary school principals to engage in activities to develop their careers for a minimum of 150 hours over a three-year cycle. The activities include attending accredited programmes and serving as members of advisory bodies. Mr Cheung said the move was in line with the concept of lifelong learning and was pivotal in enhancing school leadership. 'I am confident that the majority of serving principals are enthusiastic in undertaking continuing professional development,' he said. Mr Cheung said if a principal did not fulfil the requirement he had the power to advise the school's sponsoring bodies to dismiss him. The Education Department also proposed that starting from the 2004/2005 school year, all teachers who wanted to become principals would have to go through a full 'principalship process'.