EQAP Director's Opening Remarks at 2020 Sub-Regional Learning Event on School Leadership
WELCOME to the 2020 Sub-Regional Learning Event on School Leadership. This year's Event is the third since we started the approach of working together with a few countries for two consecutive years and then bringing in two additional countries to begin their two year cycle. This year also marks the first time we have undertaken this event virtually, using a variety of technology-based tools.
I would like to say hello again to the teams from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga and extend a warm welcome to the teams from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
School leaders play a fundamental role in leading change which directly influences the quality of teaching and learning in schools. With increasing numbers of pupils struggling to acquire basic skills in literacy and numeracy, in 2009 the Forum Education Ministers proposed the need to develop a set of standards for teachers and school leaders for the region. The Ministers knew that school leadership is complex and difficult to measure but we also know that the most important things are often the most difficult to measure. Truly great school leaders have a combination of skills, knowledge, experience and understanding of context that all come together in how those leaders work with teachers, students, parents, the community and education authorities. Although it might be a challenge, it is critically important that ministries of education work to identify the skills, knowledge, personality traits and ways of working that lead to great school leadership so that all school leaders can understand their own strengths but also identify areas of focus to become even better as instructional leaders who enable teachers to do their best work to provide an environment where students can learn and grow.
Every context is different – school authorities are unique, communities are unique, cultures are unique – but that doesn't mean standards for the region are impossible to achieve. That is what the sub-regional learning events on School Leadership are designed to explore – what do we have in common across the education systems represented here, what can we learn from one another and how can we contextualise existing school leadership standards to work within the individual ministries of education and education systems each team works within?
Over the course of the next few days you will have opportunities to learn from one another and from the team here at EQAP and as well, you will have opportunities to share your own experiences to inform the learning of the rest of the group. There will be opportunities for mixed sessions including all the participants in small and large group sessions and there will also be opportunities for you to work as country-specific teams as you progress through the next few days.
I wish you all the very best and hope that you find the 2020 Sub-Regional Learning Event on School Leadership both a valuable and enjoyable experience.