When the Principal of a high school is the official leader, he can establish himself as a real educational leader only through the use of democratic process and on the basis of the quality of his contributions. He should establish his ability to act as a consultant lo the teachers, one who can aid them to solve their problems. He should try to develop the ability of the staff lo work and think together. He should attempt lo make changes in the educational programme only through group evaluation and group planning. In light of this let us now discuss the important duties of the Principal.
1. Principal’s Supervisory Duties
The officials of a high school may be classified as “Extra-high-school and Intra-high-school officers.” The extra-high-school officials are those associated with the central office and the intra-high-school officers are assistants to the Principal.
Their work is within the high school. The extra-high-school officials arc the special supervisors, directors of curriculum or instruction etc. The intra-high-school officers include the first assistant, department heads, librarian, counselors, teachers in charge of games, sports, N.C.C., N.S.S., Red cross and other assistants. The Principal, being the educational leader is to supervise the activities of both intra and extra-high-school officers.
2. Supervision of instruction
To improve the quality of teaching and learning in the teacher -student system the Principal should pay regular visits to the different classes in which the teachers are engaged. He should work as an expert source of help through free discussion with them. Since teaching has independent parts like planning, actualizing the plans, describing what was actualized, analyzing what happened and generalizing in the terms of planning, the Principal should work together with the teachers to improve the “learning environment.”
This will be possible through mutual esteem and trust, which again depends upon contact and interaction. He should not interpret his role as ‘telling, rather he should accept cooperation, help and assistance as a way of life.
3. Supervision of Curriculum Development and Improvement
For the improvement of learning according to the changing needs of the society, constant revision and improvement of the curriculum is essential. Since the Principal is the educational leader, he is responsible for developing the curriculum design, and coordination of the curriculum improvement, stimulating innovation, developing demonstrations of new procedures and practices, keeping information about new curriculum development and conducting research that is appropriate to school system.
He should educational programme. He should also evaluate the effectiveness of the educational programme. He should organize a curriculum development team with the staff members and should consult pupils and parents by conducting investigations of pupils progress and by promoting follow-up studies of dropouts.
4. Supervision of curricula rand Co-curricular Activities
The Principal should set-up separate committees with a chairman to look to their progress. The curricular activities like instructional programme guidance services, examinations and evaluation, audio-visual educational programmes etc., and co-curricular activities like games and sports, excursions, hobbies, debating and literary society, cultural and social programmes, library and reading room, Red Cross and First Aid, N.C.C. and N.S.S. etc., are to be supervised by the Principal with the help of these committees. Distribution of activities should also be made by the Principal. Thus, he can help the growth and development of the whole child, mental, moral and physical activities.
5. Supervision of School Hostel
Though the school hostel remains in charge of a superintendent, who happens to be a teacher, it is also the duty of the Principal to supervise carefully the hostel. He should try to create a homely atmosphere in the hostel. He should pay occasional visits to the hostel to see its management.
Thus, the Principal is responsible for the all round progress and development of the school programme. Through democratic supervision, he can become vigilant and manage the school affairs efficiently.
6. Administrative Responsibilities of the Principal
The administrative responsibilities of the Principal can be classified under two heads – external and internal. The external responsibilities connect the Principal with some external authorities like the government, the state department of education, the High School Education Board and the governing body of the school. The internal responsibilities connect him with the organization of internal responsibilities of the school, the school office and administering the school budget and the school plant.
7. His relations with the External Authorities
Education has now become the responsibility of the state. Therefore, the government decides the educational policies, prepares educational budgets, provides grant-in-aid to the schools and decides the service conditions of the teachers. The Principal should be aware of these regulations and other administrative developments at the level of the government.
8. His relations with the State Department of Education
The stale department of education includes the secretariat of Education and the Directorate. Rules and regulations regarding “admission, withdrawal, attendance, school timings, promotion rules, punishment, time tables, size of the class” etc., are fixed by the department from time to time. So the Principal cannot work without his relation with the State Department of Education or with the Board of Education.
9. Board of Education
The school certificate examination is conducted by the Secondary Board of Education, ft prescribes and writes text-books for the schools. Prepares curriculums, fixes the rules and regulations for the examinations. The Principal cannot run the administrative machinery of the school without being fully conversant with the details of the work of the Secondary Board of Education. Therefore, he should keep contact with the Board.
10. The relationship with the Managing Committee
Every non-government school has a managing committee with a president, a secretary and a few members. This body has direct connection with the state department of education and also with the Secondary Board of Education. It is a very powerful body, which can appoint and dismiss teachers. Of course this power of the management has been curtailed these days. For the smooth running of the school administration, a Principal working in a non-government school should have close contact with the managing committee.