In recent years there has been an increased recognition that school leadership influences pupils’ learning and achievements, whether directly or indirectly, by supporting teacher development[Leithwood et al.,2008] This, in turn, has resulted in the growing support of improving school leadership capabilities in today’s world.
In Zimbabwe, a gap in school leadership, together with a new curriculum, has resulted in a great need for capacity building for leadership within the education sector to ensure achievement of learner outcomes. In light of this, the Ministry of Primary and Education (MOPSE), British Council and Higherlife Foundation have come together in a collaborative effort to close this gap by committing to promoting and developing instructional leadership – the leadership of teaching and learning – in Zimbabwe.
Instructional Leadership, also known as pedagogical leadership, is leadership that is focused on all aspects of teaching and learning in a school – both at whole school and individual classroom level. Instructional leaders keep the improvement in the quality of teaching and learning at the heart of their thinking and practice.
The Ministry of Primary and Education (MOPSE), British Council and Higherlife Foundation hosted the inaugural Train the Trainer workshop on Instructional Leadership at Zesa Training Centre. Over forty educators/school leaders from all over Zimbabwe came together to partake in the 5-day intensive workshop that focuses on leadership that will improve and sustain the quality of both teaching and learning in the nation.
Speaking at the workshop, Mrs Maramba, the Director of training in the MOPSE highlighted the importance of highly effective teaching and learning and the Government’s commitment to strengthening it across the country through its programs on school leadership. If we get this training right, there will be a paradigm shift in the education sector. You are the team which is going to make a difference,” she remarked passionately.
The in-depth Instructional Leadership course focuses on the leading of teaching and learning in the school, targeting school leaders who already have some leadership training. Speaking at the workshop, British Council Program Manager Zanele Mukwedeya expressed their dedication to the program and their vision, “ We started a journey to compliment the work of the Ministry in school leadership because we knew we could never reach the learner without the educator and school leadership. With its amazing footprint in all the nation’s ten provinces, Higherlife Foundation was also a key partner in this journey.”
Higherlife Foundation Chief of Staff Dr Tolbert Mucheri who was in attendance also expressed the importance of the training and its great significance towards investing in human capital, “Today’s training is significant because this investment we are all making in educator’s capabilities will reap positive benefits in the years to come. Nurturing leadership is what will propel Zimbabwe and the continent forward.”
Throughout the training, participants and facilitators unpacked instructional leadership and following the programme participants will be expected to use the principles of effective teaching and learning to evaluate and improve the quality of education and learning in their schools.
The program aims to roll out to all the ten provinces in Zimbabwe, with a goal of training 600 school leaders to become Instructional leaders who will strengthen the quality of both teaching and learning in Zimbabwe.
*The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Through their global education programme for schools, Connecting Classrooms, British Council aims to give all young people the chance to succeed in a globalised society.
* Higherlife Foundation is a non-profit organisation that is investing in Africa’s people through impact investments in education, leadership and lifelong development, health, job creation and sustainable livelihoods and girls empowerment.