Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
With the Education Ministry threatening to take action against those principals who fail to complete training under the National College of Educational Leadership (NCEL), the head of one of the island's two principals association is calling for greater dialogue.
Stanford Davis, president of the Association of Principals and Vice-principals, said the communication between the ministry and the principals is not clear and this needs to be rectified before talks of disciplinary action.
"If there are challenges, and persons are required to be trained, there should be dialogue and a consensus reached," Davis said.
Training is important
He said while he agrees that the training is important and will benefit principals, it should not be forced down their throats and made into a big issue.
Reports are that 49 of the 196, or 25 per cent of principals enrolled in the Effective Principals' Training Programme since November 2012, have failed to show up for training.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites had expressed disappointment with the level of compliance from school heads and told Parliament recently that the ministry had written to inform various school boards that further action would be taken against the delinquent principals.
However, Davis said such action would be counterproductive and would not be in the interest of cooperation.
"That cannot be a good way to go. That's very threatening and intimidating and I think it should really be a private dialogue. I don't think it should be a public issue unless it is really bad," he added.
"I don't support the whole notion of taking action without consultations and dialogue."
Davis explained that his association represents principals and vice-principals in some 60 to 80 non-traditional high schools, yet they were not consulted in the process.
He said a meeting with the director of NCEL, Dr Maurice Smith, has been arranged for early January. However, he could not say if the issue of principals' failure to attend training sessions will be on the agenda.