ARE random transfers of school heads blessings in disguise or blatant decisions made by irrational and sometimes short-sighted decision-makers with buried agendas?
When school heads are removed and replaced, what sanity or insanity would have prevailed on the minds of those with the power to influence or indeed make such changes?
Sanity obviously because some heads would have become liabilities to the school, the community, the children and the nation, running the school like their tuck shop, embezzling school funds openly or smartly, enjoying their office but doing nothing to develop the school, abusing school vehicles and literally converting the school into a private enterprise. Why not? Such heads must be removed like what happens to a decayed tooth causing more pain than usefulness on the one whose mouth harbours the tooth.
But also insanity because a good head in every sense, visibly turning a ruin into a school, assisting to improve the pass rate, complying with every rule of the game for first and foremost the child and community is sometimes shown the red card where no sign of foul play would have been found.
It is also known that school heads do not own schools; as such being removed and replaced must not be unexpected. The world does not fall because school heads have been transferred on demotion or promotion, or even a bit of both.
The import of this brave straight-talk conversation is to interrogate the sanity of random ‘regime’ changes in schools.
How many of these regime-change advocates carry out some real research to vindicate decision-making before acting? How many of these transfers of school heads are evidence-based and not erratic and dubious?
And even in cases where evidence of rot or corruption in the conduct of the school head is unquestionable, is capricious transfer always a solution?
It is not journalistic untidiness that this conversation is pregnant with questions. It is deliberate. Often times, questions are more fluent and thought provoking than statements.
Who said wherever misconduct or administrative incompetence is discovered, assuming fair and adequate research has been made transfer to another school is the best solution? Well, it may be the best, but should it be whimsical? How do you sell to someone, freely give even, a VID-condemned vehicle and escape misconduct yourself? If you have proved a school head is a thief, a womaniser, an arrogant leader full of corruption and has an insatiable appetite for selling anything sellable including examination papers and Grade One or Form One places, how does transferring such a corrupt school head to another school help? Who wants a broken clay-pot to keep her drinking water? Where on earth have corpses ever been transferred? Their rightful place is six feet down, is it not? Dead people are buried.
They are not moved from one place to another. When a dentist removes decayed tooth, he throws it away. He does not transfer it to another row of teeth.
This is real common sense. If there is researched evidence, evidence-based truth that a school head is bad enough to warrant being transferred, what are you saying to those who must welcome him or her as a new head? Are they supposed to celebrate and give this never-do-well a red-carpet welcome? Why do those who nonchalantly transfer teachers not think about this?
Those who repair car engines know that if a cylinder ring is faulty and now causing misfiring in the function of the engine, you do not remove it from cylinder one to cylinder two. You remove it completely from the system and replace it with a new one. If a doctor breaches medical ethics and proves incompetent in the conduct of his job, dangerous is a better word to use here; is he or she absent mindedly transferred to another hospital? Is the wisdom here that there are some hospitals and communities that can do with such a dangerous doctor? Think, Education Sector, think!
And how do you know the new school heads will perform? How does a new school head perform better in an unfamiliar atmosphere when he or she failed in a familiar background? I have heard many people argue, “If examination results are going down, this warrants the transfer of one heading the school.” Interesting nonsense, isn’t it? What research did you carry out to find out that it was the school head that was responsible for the poor pass rate? And what research, evidence-based, did you carry out to confirm the new head will do better here in a new school, and the transferred one will change things for the better in a new environment and new school with new teaching staff, new parents to contend with, new students with different socio-cultural backgrounds?
Finally, let us explore justice, fairness, in a work place.
A school head, assuming it is correct to say he is the one responsible, has improved the pass rate significantly from zero percent to 50-60 percent pass rate raring to boldly encroach the 100 percent pass rate, the teachers’ houses are standard, beautiful if you like, the laboratories, the classrooms, the sports grounds, the dormitories-everything physical is near state-of-the-art; the landscaping serene and picturesque enough to attract tourists. Then he or she cannot account for $9 after an audit report.
Everyone bays for his blood and wants his head on a platter! He must go! And the responsible authority immediately forgets his achievements. They cry foul! The PED’s office watches from the terraces and remains silent when wonderful schools go to the dogs and wonderful school heads are crucified right under their noses. Just what is happening?
Am I the only one witnessing good schools die in our eyes because a school head has erred here and there; perhaps indeed corrupt, but who is perfect in their conduct to be so bold and confident to pick up a stone and attack the Samarian woman caught in the act? And what with the logs in your own eyes?
And when your perfect replacement takes over a school, does he or she look at the school record of excellence and boast, “I did it”? When did he do it? How does this system find it easy to take from one school head what he faithfully toiled for, for many years… and give to another, a lucky or preferred chancer, opportunist, to brag about overnight? Do people see what I see in these schools or my eyes are squinty?
Let us talk. Not talk to spite anyone. Not talk to expose a problem and laugh or just be angry. But indeed to help bring a solution to a gaping problem! To implore those who have the power to see what may be too far from the reach of their busy eyes and business.
To assist them to correct a serious ill in the school system, a habit that started off as a crack, developed into a gorge and now has become a valley while society helplessly remains silent.
- Let’s make a date on Head-To-Head with MM on DiamondFM Radio if you have wisdom to share on this or that side of the topic. Get in touch with me via email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) or App 0773 883 293. ARE THESE SCHOOL REGIME CHANGES A BLESSING IN DISGUISE OR BLATANT BLUNDERS?