Leadership programme for school leaders

A combination of academic and experiential learning, the programme aims to train new school leaders to focus on achieving excellence in education for children from disadvantaged communities

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | January 22, 2013



In an effort to address the poor quality of education in India, the three education organisations, the Central Square Foundation, the Akanksha Foundation and Teach for India are launching the India School Leadership Institute (ISLI). They are working in collaboration with the US-based KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) School Leadership Institute.

There has been a constant increase in the enrolment of children in schools but not much effort is done in improving the quality of school leaders (principals). There is no institution in India for developing great school leaders except few ad hoc programmes run by business schools like Indian Institute of Management (IIM).

“We invest in training leaders in every sector except education,” says Ashish Dhawan CEO of Delhi-based Central Square Foundation. He added, “ISLI will create leadership at the school level to begin reforming education in India as we cannot afford to keep delivering poor quality education to the 27 million children starting school each year.”

ISLI aims at ensuring equity by training a new generation of school leaders with their focus on achieving excellence in education for children from disadvantaged communities. It will train new generation of transformational school leaders with an understanding of organizational and instructional leadership, demonstrate measurable increases in student learning outcomes, achieve increased teacher and school leadership effectiveness and focus on improving secondary school graduation rates among low income children.

The programme is drawn on international best practises around school leadership. And in the first two years of its functioning it will develop a curriculum for school leadership contextualized for India that can then be spread to the government school system and the affordable private school schools.

ISLI adapts best practices in school leadership from around the world to bring it in the Indian context. The first batch of 30 will start in May 2013.The programme will be a combination of academic and experiential learning, providing a forum for fellows to learn from experienced trainers and educators.
It aims to train 120 school leaders in the first 2 years. The first batch will begin in May 2013 and it will recruit exceptional teachers and school leaders.

The actual cost of the programme is between Rs 3 and Rs 4 lakh but ISLI will charge only Rs 25,000 per applicant. An amount of Rs 2.5 crore, which has been funded by the three organisations, is to be spent over a period of 2 years. The applicants will have to demonstrate commitment to work with children from low-income backgrounds. Teachers should have minimum 2 years of teaching experience, should be fluent in English and should have the ability to enroll in B.Ed. program.

The programmes will be a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experiences. The one year program will require a 15-week time investment and would include school visits and residencies in India and the US, periodic inter-sessions and professional development.

School residencies are built into the fellowship experience, allowing fellows to shadow innovative school leaders in both elite private schools and affordable schools serving low-income communities. Fellows will also spend four weeks in the US at the KIPP Foundation, which runs a network of high-achieving, publicly funded schools in high-poverty urban areas.

The programme is meant for existing principals as well as the aspirants. Those interested can apply before February 11, 2013 online at www.indiaschoolleaders.org.

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