Educational Administration in Ghana is foremost a carbon copy of the leadership that is provided by those in leadership positions.
A responsive leadership to unforeseen challenges and a proactive leader for current challenges contribute to having an efficient educational administration which is key to the effective functioning of all sectors of education. However, do those holding leadership positions have a grip on what leadership is all about?
The success of the education sector hinges on how well teachers are motivated to deliver and how students are inspired to break free from poor performance, discover their inborn talents, and get them nurtured in a school for greater productivity and self-actualization. Alas, this is not the case in many instances.
In instances where the administration of a country’s education sector is yielding blameless results, society is easily enlisted to help improve schools but where there is open disregard to the quality school environment needed, and the personal and political ambitions of leadership determine decisions, mistrust breeds freely among the people and the results are never exciting no matter the efforts and resources put into education.
John Maxwell in his 1st irrefutable law of leadership – “The Law of the Lid”, said, “Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness”.
By this he meant, leadership is cause and the rest are effects. What happens in the education sector is nothing but the product of the leadership thereof.
The problems that confront education and its administration stems from leadership failure of one kind or the other.
Right from classroom leadership to school level leadership to the district and the national level, problems have been created by leaders who fail to lead.
Ghana’s approach to appointing leadership for schools is sometimes laughable. Leaders in our schools and at the national level such as Ministers of Education and their deputies , head teachers and others have followed a common trend.
Often, they are former teachers with vast experience, who have paid their due, qualified for their positions because of acquired experiences.
But as a country, we continue to make enormous mistakes such as believing experience and long years of service amount to being leaders. These do not qualify one to be a leader.
A research I carried out in 2019 on leadership in school, showed that, there are many who are holding leadership positions in our schools who do not have any leadership training or the requisite understanding of what leadership is all about and hence the ability to demonstrate and act out leadership to transform our schools does not exist yet, the individuals continue to parade as leaders.
Educators or newly trained teachers need to be introduced to leadership courses while in college, the same can be done for those in active service at all levels to build the fundamental skills for leading. When they are promoted in the future into administrative positions they will be better equiped to lead.
Leadership knowledge has become critical and needs to be imbibed into teacher trainees while in college throughout the four years of teacher education.
Today, those in leadership positions in education seem to act like robots, in that educational administrators who are government employees must adhere to policies of the government, even if there are better ways of doing the same thing.
So the question is, what kind of leadership can such persons provide if all they can do is to act in favour of the whims and caprices of political leaders?
The initiative is killed, creativity is frozen and personal self-judgement and independent thinking are all suppressed by the system.
A headteacher takes an action and the next time he/she receives a call to report to the headquarters or regional office to answer questions even if the action taken was the best in the face of common sense. Teachers are scared of granting interviews to the media and headteachers have to hide their identities just to share their frustrations as persons holding leadership positions in our pre-tertiary schools.
If exceptions are made for Educational Administration with the stated purpose of serving a higher good allowed to lead the decisions made, so much will change.
Those holding leadership positions in our schools, at the national, regional levels and others levels can become better leaders without sacrificing the integrity of the system. But this will require more than experience and long service in the education sector.
Source: Wisdom Hammond | Leadership expert.