Schools must be led by resilient leaders

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KUALA LUMPUR: It is imperative that schools are led by resilient leaders who can be flexible, adaptive and innovative in facing challenges in order to ensure that students are able to continue their studies, said Senior Education Minister Senator Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.

He said one of the challenges that tested the mettle of resilient leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic was the broad implementation of distance learning where they need to ensure teachers received immediate training in online learning strategies.

Another challenge is to ensure that students are not left behind, he said when launching the 2nd International Conference on Educational Leadership and Management 2021 (2nd ICELAM 2021) virtually, today.

“The willingness of some students in asking questions is thought to be hampered in online learning, and those who are not able to keep up with the pace of discussions risk feeling excluded and losing confidence.

“This is where resilient leaders can help and find ways to get student feedback on their learning experience and customise the delivery through both physical and online methods,” he said.

Throughout the pandemic, Radzi said stakeholders in the education sector have demonstrated remarkable agility and they had to adapt to wholesale changes to methods of teaching and facilitate new ways to transfer knowledge.

He said teachers have had to take the initiative in setting up online platforms and upgrading devices for smooth transmission, nevertheless, the ability to embed rapid decision-making into day-to-day school operations will be equally important through crisis recovery and into the next normal.

Radzi added that during the crisis, significant changes in society, organisations and individuals have brought considerable uncertainty into the conventional systems in which resilient leaders must address.

He said resilient leaders will grab the opportunity to grow and adapt as the country enters the recovery phase as well as motivate their teams to endure in the face of difficulties.

“Great leadership, on the other hand, required even more followership, which was fostered by a trust as it produced tangible effects in terms of economic growth and shareholder value, enhanced creativity, stronger community stability, and improved health outcomes.

“Resilience has a key role to play here, in that schools will need to be confident in their structure and operations to allow them to remain agile to shift policy restrictions at a moment’s notice while keeping an eye on the long-term success of students,” the minister said.

Radzi also said that it was vital that all teachers and students appreciate the importance of their role and embed a mindset of a resilient explorer in the quest for knowledge searching.

Meanwhile, he said with the Covid-19 pandemic impacting all levels of the education sector, the ministry applauded the efforts of teachers and administrators in being flexible and creative in delivering education both online and offline.

Radzi said the government and education stakeholders must also need to continue to collaborate in ensuring that students continue to learn and thrive. – Bernama  

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