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Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q31: I think it is vital that school principals show leadership in order to promote the independent development of schools with originality and innovative ideas.What measures are being taken to this end?

A:TVe are promoting the development of anenvironment in which school principals areable to demonstrate greater leadership bymaking a variety of improvements to schoolmanagement mechanisms.

The September1998report of the Central Coun-cil for Education,entitled"How Local Educa-tion on Administration Should Be,"stated that the future direction of education depends on how much each school,under the leadership of the principal,can provide original and innovative educational activities on its own initiative in accordance with the circumstances of the local community and the children.Therefore,we have proposed improvements in school management mechanisms such as the following.

Review of the Relationship between Boardsof Education and Schools and Broadening ofSchools' Discretionary Authority

Boards of education do not directly carry out all the work involved in the management of schools.Instead,the School Management Regulations are in place as a mechanism for making a distinction between the administration handled at the dis-cretion of the school and administration handled at the discretion of the board of education,and leave the specific day-to-day running of the school to the principal.Therefore,schools can carry out original and innovative educational activities at their own discretion and taking re-sponsibility,while the ultimate responsibility for school management rests with the board of edu-cation.Yet the reality of the School Management Regulations is that they do not cover the whole relationship between boards of education and schools.Indeed,many matters in the relationship are covered by other laws,notices and regula-tions and have not been incorporated into the Regulations,and even minute matters require approval or permission of boards of education.In addition,since the content of the Regulations is uniform nationwide,it does not necessarily respond to the individual circumstances in schools and regions.In order that schools can operate as much as possible at their own discretion,it is therefore necessary both to review the school management regulations in order to reduce the areas for which schools need board of education approval,permission and notification to the essential mat-ters only,as well as to allow for the establish-ment of School Management Regulations that respond to the characteristics of local communi-ties and schools.

Review of the Selection Procedures andPersonnel Affairs for Principals and Vice-Principals

In order for a school to provide a distinctively characteristic education,it is important that it secures suitable people to assume the positions of Principal,who is the head of the school and has the responsibility for managing it,and the Vice-Principal,who plays a supporting role.To this end,it is necessary to relax the quali fications for principals and vice-principals,al low the selection of principals and vice principals from a broad range of fields and en able truly outstanding people to become princi pals and vice-principals rather than simply al lowing people to become principals and vice principals purely because they have reached a certain age.In addition,it is important to create an environment where it is easier for principals to put their educational philosophy in to practice by increasing the term of appointment at a school above the currently stipulated time frame.In future,Boards of Education will be required to take active steps based on these proposals and MESSC will also support these kinds of reforms.

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