SINGAPORE: School principals play an important role in leading change, and are the middlemen between the Education Ministry and the "frontline", said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat.
He was at the appointment ceremony of 60 principals on Thursday. Of these, 29 principals took on the appointment for the first time.
The ceremony, attended by 600, also acknowledged the contributions of retiring principals and senior education officers.
Mr Heng said principals provide a valuable input on how and where changes are needed, and once policies are decided upon, they need a clear understanding of the intent behind the policy.
Their leadership ability is also what translates this intent to create effective change in schools.
Mr Heng cited some recent changes by the ministry, that he said have yet to be fully understood by the public.
"We did not name the top PSLE scorers not because we are moving away from academic excellence or to reduce stress per se. Rather, it is to signal that the PSLE is not the end—all—and—be—all, and there is more to education than just grades," said Mr Heng.
"We removed academic banding and simplified the Masterplan of Awards not because we want to run a ’soft’ system, but rather to give schools greater flexibility. With this flexibility, you can now better select from a menu of programmes to build a coherent and focused strategy for your students."
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