Impact of Professional Development on the Performance of Secondary School Principals: A Managerial Perspective

By Shah, Syed Manzoor Hussain; Sultana, Nareed et al. | International Journal of Management, December 2011 | Go to article overview

Impact of Professional Development on the Performance of Secondary School Principals: A Managerial Perspective


Shah, Syed Manzoor Hussain, Sultana, Nareed, Hassain, Khawaja Sabir, Ali, Imtiaz, International Journal of Management


This study was designed to investigate the impact of professional development on the performance of managers, in this case, secondary school heads. The sample comprised 31 principals of secondary schools in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Each of the school heads in the sample completed a specially-derived questionnaire, and their responses to each item analyzed statistically. The finding of the study suggest that the professional development of school heads or principals, regarded as the general managers of their respective schools, through pre-service training has a positive impact on their performance of the various duties and responsibilities of their job, regarding school management, academic management, personnel management, financial management, relations with the community and decision making. As far as in-service training is concerned, the findings of the study indicated that limited opportunities are available for the professional development of this sample of Pakistani school heads through inservice training, despite the positive impact it can have on these principals - general managers in their respective schools.

Background

The principal of a secondar}' school plays a vital role in the qualitative expansion and qualitative improvement in the education system of the. Secondary education is very important sub-sector of the education system, therefore, effective management is prerequisite for achieving desired objectives. The professional development of the head of a secondary school enhances through professional competency which contributes towards improving of the system. The present era of information technology has made the role of the head of secondary school more complex and crucial than ever before because nowadays the head has to meet the challenges of constantly -changing scenario of the world. The secondary school head is supposed to perform a dual role in the education system. On the one hand s/he the secondary school produces middle-level workforce for the economy and on the other s/he provides a pathway to higher education. Owing to this role, secondary education has significant importance for the socio-economic development of the country. "The quality of higher education hinges on the quality of secondary education. . . secondary education is a stage, where a student enters adolescence which is the most crucial stage of life". (National Education Policy, 1998-2010, p. 37) Furthermore, secondary education is a turning stage because students usually choose their future line of action principal of secondary schools have to cater for the varied needs of the individual, student so as to enable him/her to select for the future study or work. In addition, diversification of human beings needs and the importance of secondary education has enhanced the importance of principal of secondary school. It is usually supposed that principal to provide specialists who are required in different sectors of the economy. Effective management of secondary education unites the resources to increase the internal and external efficiency of educational institutions to achieve desired outputs. According to Bateman .et al, (2002, p. 14), "management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals. Management establishes strong monitoring and evaluation system to ensure optimal utilization of available resources".

The report of National Commission on Education (1959, p.268), emphasized that "Administrative staff, Inspectors, Principal, and subject specialists for multi-purpose schools should receive in-service training through the education extension centers". After the 2001 devolution plan decentralization of the education system was made at grassroots level. Recently the importance of the functions of principal of secondary schools has been increased. Now being the head of such an institution, he/she is vested with responsibility of making the optimal use of available resources at institutional level. …

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