Better Schools:
Resource Materials for School Heads in Africa

Principals are in the front line of the battle to create an environment for quality education. But school heads in Africa work under the most difficult conditions, and are often not well-prepared for the tasks they must undertake.

At the very least, an effective principal will be able to:
• manage and deploy school resources efficiently
• allocate school accommodation appropriately
• ensure satisfactory standards of maintenance and cleanliness of school facilities
• guide curriculum implementation and change
• organise staff development in school
• create a professional ethos within the school by involving promoted staff in decision-making.

During 1992, seven Ministries of Education in Africa (in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe), assisted by a further four (in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia) produced training modules intended to help school heads in Africa improve their managerial and professional leadership skills. The materials were drafted by writing teams in each country, and critiqued at two regional workshops (Kenya Education Staff Institute, April 1992 and National Teachers' Institute, Nigeria, June 1992). They were then trialled among school heads and inspectors, teacher trainers and district officials in seven countries. The set of seven modules listed below was finally launched at a Commonwealth Africa workshop hosted by Botswana's Ministry of Education in March 1993:

Module 1 Self-Development for Educational Managers
Module 2 Principles of Educational Management
Module 3 Personnel Management
Module 4 Managing the Curriculum and Resources
Module 5 Financial Management
Module 6 Monitoring School Effectiveness
Module 7 The Governance of Schools

These materials were designed to be used in any English-speaking education system in Africa; country-specific versions may be available for some systems. The materials can be used in a variety of contexts: for self-study, distance learning, by peer groups and in workshops, and as a basis for coursework in institutions and faculties of education. They attempt to introduce school heads to important aspects of managing a school, from the most basic to more complex tasks, in a very practical way.

The modules were prepared under the Training and Support Programme for School Heads in Africa supported by Ministries of Education in Africa, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Unesco, SIDA and GTZ. Editing, design and production of the training modules was co-ordinated by the Commonwealth Secretariat Education Programme. Related publications are listed on the back cover, and are available from the Commonwealth Education Programme.