Ladies and Gentlemen, I join you this morning in this celebration of excellence. This seminal event will be used to articulate the value placed on effective school leadership and to highlight that the country needs principals such as Dr. Bailey, Mr. Reid, Mrs. Reid, Mr. Rowe, Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Chambers who will give direction as Jamaica positions itself to achieve its vision.
And so, this morning I would like to say a few words on the importance of education and charge in the process our inductees.
Firstly I would like to congratulate the National College of Educational Leadership and the Executive Principal’s League and all the commissioners and other individuals who were involved in the conceptualization of this very important initiative and for establishing a template for future leaders of what we expect from our education. Of course, the object of your training and preparation is your students.
Our idea of education is too narrow and too low a range. Education is more than the perusal of a certain course of study. It is more than a mere preparation for a job. It has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence that is possible to humans. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental and the spiritual powers.
To those in whom power is developed are persons who bear responsibilities and they are leaders in thought who influence character as our leaders and master teachers are demonstrating. It is the worth of education to develop this power; to train your students to be thinkers and not mere reflectors of other people’s thoughts.
And so this morning I want to charge our leaders:
1. To develop in your staff and students the powers to think and to do. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny and their minds will expand and strengthen.
2. I charge you as master teachers and leaders, not to be satisfied with second rate work.
3. I charge you not to be satisfied with standards lower than the highest that can be attained.
4. I charge you to ensure that your students are not only imparted technical knowledge to get a job but that you inspire your students with principles of truth, obedience, honor, integrity and purity-principles that will make them a positive force for the stability and upliftment of society. And above all I charge you to love because love in your heart cannot be extinguished.
5. You may find many wandering students that need to be guided back to the path. I urge you to lead these wandering youngsters as they go.
6. Another aspect of your task is to ponder. Ponder over noble thoughts. You may find that certain things are not pure, are not just or are not good, and for this reason great thinkers are necessary.
7. Remember to smile. It puts our colleagues at ease and helps our interactions with our peers and guardians, and so, as simple as it is, I think it is important for our leaders to remember to smile.
8. Follow truth. Follow truth as a blind man longs for light.
9. Keep your heart in readiness to answer the call to go beyond, to service. Always have your heart set and ready to go the extra mile on behalf of those students.
Dear inductees, Dr. Bailey, Mr. Reid, Mrs. Reid, Mr. Rowe, Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Chambers, I wish you all the best as you give leadership in education, as you serve as master teachers and as you enter the Executive Principal’s League. With your level of attainment and the expectation of maintaining your privileged position in this league, I am satisfied with the future of educational leadership in Jamaica.
Your induction today inaugurates the Executive Principal’s League which it is my pleasure to launch.
I now invite our inaugural six inductees to step forward to be pinned with their badges of distinction.