The Headmaster, as the educational leader holds the key position in the school. As an important component of the school, he has two important responsibilities: the administration of the school and the supervision of the personnel involved in the teaching —learning process. Everything in the school, the plant, the staff, the curriculum, methods and techniques of teaching, co-curricular activities etc. is organised by him.
The efficiency of the school depends on the ability and skill personality and professional competence of the Headmaster. He may be described as the Sun around which the educational planets revolve. In the words of P.C, Wren, "What the main spring is to the watch, the flywheel to the machine or the engine to the steamship, the headmaster is to the school.
The character of the school reflects and proclaims the professional character of the headmaster. He is the seal and the school is the wax. He is the organizer, leader, governor, business director, coordinator, superintendent, example teacher, guide, philosopher and friend." Since controls the administration and supervision duties the headmaster requires an adequate preparation.
The professional and Technical preparation of the Headmaster for Educational Leadership
To become a leader in the school, the headmaster should understand the place of the school in the social order and the duty it should perform. He should recognize that there are other institutions and agencies in the community which are engaged in the education of youth and to understand their relation lo the school. He must be in a position to understand the socio-economic and political changes taking place in our society and to explain their meaning for the school and the students who are attending it. He must make the teachers aware of these changes.
To achieve these ends he must have knowledge in educational sociology, philosophy of education, organization, supervision and administration of education, comparative education, educational psychology, and secondary school curriculum. It will help him in his professional preparation.
For the technical preparation of educational leadership, he must have knowledge and skill which will enable him to administer the high school. To develop knowledge and skill, he should study courses in the organisation and administration of school, including pupil activity and guidance programmes. To acquire knowledge of the methods and procedures through which he may be of assistance to the teachers, the headmaster should have courses in supervision of the instruction, foundations of methods in teaching and construction of courses and curricula. He should also have competency in measurement and evaluation.
As a result of this, he will be in a position to assist his teachers in measuring the outcome of their own instruction and the educational programme. The teachers can determine the area in which improvement is needed and may also evaluate the results as their effort to improve.
The Qualities and Personality of the Headmaster
One of the important elements in educational leadership is the personality of the supervisor, for the personality trails influence the personality of the teachers. Personality here may be thought of as a composite of all menial, emotional and physical characteristics which an individual may possess. Through their overt manifestations he impresses others. The mental and emotional traits are of more significance in their influence upon other’s reactions. The headmaster should develop these facts of his personally so that he shall possess a pleasing personally lo influence others.
Desirable personal qualities of the Headmaster
The Headmaster, as the leader must have the ability to organize and assist the faculty in formulating a programme, for the improvement of instruction in the school. He must inspire the teachers, secure their cooperation in developing the supervisory programme and stimulate them for their active participation.
The Headmaster should be enthusiastic and should work with /cal for the development of the school. He should have vision, initiative, originality, sell-reliance and confidence. He should have qualities like sincerity, frankness and genuineness.
To solve the problems of differences of opinion concerning methods, procedures or other aspects of the programme, he should possess such qualities as self-control, fair-mindedness, fact, adaptability, sound judgement, open-mindedness and resourcefulness. He should respect the opinions of others.
Qualities like a sense of humor, sense of vocation, integrity, scientific attitude, and friendliness are also lo be developed in the headmaster. He should avoid peculiar mannerisms. He should allow freedom lo the leaders, treat them sympathetically and respect their personality.
He must have superior mental abilities, intelligence, deep intuition and logical reasoning. All teachers should be loyal to him and must look lo him for guidance, counsel and inspiration. He should be a man of high moral character.
He should have faith in humanism. He should try to humanize the de-humanized individuals working in the system. The school organization should be such, as will fulfill its proper function i.e., "Education of the whole man" through its programmes.
Qualities of a headmaster in the words of Rybtim, "It is essential, therefore, that he be not only a man of high character, but also that he be a man of faith, in his vocation, faith in his pupils, faith in human nature and faith in his staff."
A man, who is not definitely superior in all these respects should forego his supervisory responsibility as he happens lo be the keystone of the educational arch. If he does not possess these qualities, the structure of education will fail down like a house of cards.