Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Kensington principal is Miss Can Do!

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Carlene McCalla-Francis, the tough-talking taskmaster principal of Kensington Primary School in Portmore, has been credited with facilitating access by firefighters.


I had started ignoring the nightly news on both television stations because my system was now refusing the diet of negative news.

However, be it coincidence or not, I was drawn to a story that saw me glued to the 7 o'clock news on Television Jamaica (TVJ) on Monday evening, March 20.

For months, TVJ has been highlighting issues with the entrance or lack of an emergency entrance at some schools in St Catherine - all of which were built to the same specifications. Fire truck were not able to access school compounds if there was an emergency as the gates were not wide enough.

This is a problem that the schools were aware of and the issues might have been highlighted to get the attention of the government agency responsible for correcting the situation.

But on Monday evening, the report took a different twist. The TVJ reporter visited Kensington Primary School, also in St Catherine, and from the report, this principal - instead of folding her arms and waiting for the Government to remedy the situation - sprung into action.

She has, with the help of her parent-teacher association (and she noted that most fundraising efforts at the school are channelled via the canteen since the support is good), knocked down the fencing around the original gateway and reconstructed a new gateway that is now wide enough to allow fire trucks access to the school's compound should there be an emergency.




I have said it time and time again: Some issues are not necessarily government issues; they are management issues. The principal of Kensington Primary School, Carlene Francis, has shown that she is not only a good manager but also a good leader.

Her motivation to make the change was the children in her care; she had promised to make a positive difference when she accepted the position, and she was not about to renege on her promise.

In discussion with someone else who saw the story - a teacher by profession - she succinctly said, "She needs to be cloned."

Leadership in action! Kudos, Madam Principal!