Principals must be trusted to do their jobs

Like Ms Doreen Leong May Yuen ("Let schools have their say"; Feb 8), I am concerned about the Ministry of Education's (MOE's) intervention in what can be regarded as a purely internal school policy.

The selection of school leaders is a rigorous process that is stringently vetted by the Ministry.

I believe that those chosen to helm schools have demonstrated their capability to holistically consider all factors and make judicious decisions based on what is most feasible and what reaps optimum benefits for the school population.

It must also be recognised that each school has its own distinct mission, ethos and strategic goals, as well as constraints, which influence the principal's decision-making.

Being made to yield to pressure from various stakeholders greatly undermines principals' autonomy and impedes their ability to carry out their responsibilities.

This invariably opens the floodgates for parents and other stakeholders, who will be emboldened to clamour for more concessions.

Do we really want a system that panders to populist sentiments and competing interests?

The MOE must learn to trust principals to do their job and decide what is best for their school.

It should step in only when it is absolutely critical.

Marietta Koh (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2017, with the headline 'Principals must be trusted to do their jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe