Day 5: St. Hilda’s Secondary School

My third year in St. Hilda’s Secondary provided me an opportunity to go deeper into the leadership and management of this premiere church-run school in Singapore. Our conversation with principal Khoo Tse Torng worked in two ways, he shared about how he manages this very big school with thousand students and we shared about the development in the education sector in the Philippines. His insights were enlightening and he is pleased to know that our country is striding ambitious steps towards improving education, even though most people don’t agree about it. Sad.

His very accommodating stance have allowed our team to be comfortable in asking questions and sharing what we feel about continuing our partnership with their school. He was, in fact, very open about sharing more personal details about being the head of the school.

Reflecting upon his insights, I should be keen to:

1. Set important talks and meetings with different teams daily. Internal collaboration is very important in transforming the school. Instead of teachers doing best practices isolated from each other, we can do team teaching and partner teaching. To be successful in this, we have to set weekly formal meetings and informal talks to evaluate our practices. Reflection is integral to school success, all the more collective reflections will definitely expedite all our goals. we have to meet and talk. We have to share and perform and share again.

2. Collaborate with other schools that are open to the idea of mindshare. in Singapore, the Ministry of Education has grouped all the schools according to zones. Each zone is made of secondary and primary schools. School heads meet together and share their best practices. Gone are the days of stiff competition among schools. It is now high time for maximum impact to learners through collaboration and teamwork. I pray that this happen with the schools here in Puerto Princesa.

3. Adopt Singapore Excellence Model and build our teachers’ capacity to integrate Singapore curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Now that I have more time to do this, our school’s main thrust is to benchmark with Singapore curriculum. This means our faculty will all together learn how Singapore becomes so successful. Our partners in Singapore will be able to extend help, but our priority is simple, make everyone in LifeCollege lifelong learners. We don’t in fact needed much training, what we need is to do things and perform things inside the classroom. That is learning.

4. Integrate strategic planning and long-term visioning. The School Excellence Model is a vital step towards our benchmarking effort. We will start to think about 2015, 2020 and 2030. Once the target are set and the key result areas and key performance indicators are laid down, we will be able to see where to get the money to achieve our vision. We will start a culture of high expectations inside while at the same time, we will not lose our zest for life.

5. Infect local community with innovation ideas. Our next big thing is to integrate the community in the learning process. We have to be able to tap into local community resources and at the same time be able to help and give back to local communities. The world will be our classroom and we need to direct our teacher’s toward this track.

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