Principals Competencies In Managing A School And Its Relation To Their Performance: The Case Of Albania

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Dr. Migena Buka


The role of school principals is crucial for the success of a school and its students. Effective principals are able to create a positive school culture, support and develop teachers, and make data-driven decisions to improve student achievement. Research has shown that the quality of a school's principal is linked to teacher satisfaction and career choices, as well as the performance of the school and the satisfaction of parents. Principals are also central to most school reforms, such as accountability measures and school-based budgeting. As a result, there has been increased policy attention on attracting and preparing effective school leaders. However, there is a lack of understanding of the specific qualities and characteristics to look for when hiring principals or targeting their development, as well as a lack of organized systems for recruiting and developing leaders in many places.To address this gap, the Center for School Leadership program was introduced in Albania in October 2019. This program is a professional development opportunity for pre-university principals that lasts for 9 months and is organized into theoretical modules and other activities, such as coaching and mentoring, networking and collaboration with other principals and aspiring principals. The program aims to stimulate professional learning and development opportunities for participating principals.Since its inception, the program has had 840 participants organized into four cohorts. Of these participants, 140 were asked to self-report about their capacities in various subjects, such as pedagogical diagnosis of the school, developing vision and strategy for school improvement, and managing change, as well as effective management of people resources and finance. They were asked to provide this information both before and after participating in the program. Consistently, the participants reported improved performance and enhanced communication skills as a result of participating in the program. They stated that they had improved leadership skills, better communication with staff and stakeholders, and increased student achievement. These improvements, in turn, led to better outcomes for their schools and students.The success of the Center for School Leadership program highlights the need for professional development opportunities for principals. Continued support and investment in programs like this one could have significant positive impacts on schools, teachers, and students.

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