Education Minister, Ronald Jones, wants to see more harmony and cooperation among those who lead and manage the education system, particularly within secondary schools.

Calling for the elimination of ???disturbing egos??? that some may carry, he told a working session for those in management positions, including Principals, Chairmen and Secretary Treasurers: ???I want us to make this system even better than it currently is and we can achieve it???There is a collective pool of talent in this place that is truly remarkable; collective skills and competences that are in fact truly remarkable.

“Let???s share the space together; let???s work the space together; let us understand each other because at the end of the day the ones that we work for are not ourselves. We work for the nation. We work for the nation???s children.???

Stressing that he essentially wanted to see ???a smoother functioning system???, Mr. Jones told the gathering at the Hilton Barbados he wanted to see more respect among adults. Noting that the Education Act sought to bring leaders and managers together in an arrangement that did not necessarily fit in an exact way, he emphasised that those involved had to respect each other.

The educators were reminded that school as a dynamic entity was always in flux, and being in charge meant they should always be able to respond to emergency calls, even if it required some form of delegation.

???You should always be able to respond to invitations. If the Deputy can???t make it there is someone senior in the establishment and that senior person should be able to represent the Principal, anywhere; just call upon them and allow them to respond???

???Anytime you try to do it all yourself, you are setting up yourself for failure. I am sure that that applies also to Chairmen of Boards. You should be able to utilise your Deputies effectively; ??? you have to be able to manage that process,??? he stated.??

Acknowledging the role of the Secretary Treasurer, Mr. Jones said: ???There have been over time some crossing of roles and this can happen in any dynamic organisation. You have to first understand yourself, not be someone who fights over territory and terrain???.

???In our school system we should not have to fight over terrain; the school is a unique organism, where it takes persons working harmoniously together, not the egotistical rantings??? The ego kicks in and there are no controls on that ego. So the essence of disrespect flows making the school ungovernable and unmanageable??????

Contending that such time could be spent ensuring schools ran effectively, he stressed: ???The bottom line is that we have to work our system because it is the system that faces the greatest scrutiny by the public because everybody knows every single thing about education. So, we have to present to the public the best that we can present??? And the best has to first start to emanate from the top.???

Addressing concerns over the level of authority vested today in principals, the Minister assured the educators that they possessed greater authority buttressed by the legal framework of today and policy decisions which supported that legal framework.

???It also comes from how you work with others. How you see another person???s viewpoint – if that viewpoint can be assimilated into your leadership and management of your school,??? he stressed.

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