Edward Says Too Many Principals Afraid To Take Decisions

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Education Minister Shawn Edward has urged school principals not to be afraid to take action, while at the same time acknowledging a command chain in the education system, including the Minister, the Permanent Secretary, and the Chief Education Officer.

Edward spoke on Wednesday at the 38th annual education conference organised by the National Principals’ Association (NPA) in collaboration with his Ministry.

“You should not be afraid to take action, but do not interpret my encouragement to you to take action to mean that you should act recklessly or irresponsibly,” Edward said to applause from the audience.

“That is not the same as me admonishing you to take action. You have to know when to stand alone and make your decisions. You have to know when to reach out for the opinion of the Education Officer or the Chief Education Officer,” he explained.

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“There are too many principals who are afraid to take decisions on very mundane things,” the Dennery North MP and former educator stated.

He said senior ministry staff would reveal that he has always said that he has enough on his plate under his ministerial portfolios and does not want to do anyone’s job for them.

In addition to education, Edward’s responsibilities include Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology, and Vocational Training.

According to Edward, things that should be in the remit of the Chief Education Officer, the Permanent Secretary, or the District Education Officer should not come before the Minister for a decision.

The remark evoked another round of applause from the gathering.

The Minister also referred to what he described as the constant refrain that no child will be left behind.

But he spoke of the need to alter the saying and to declare it is important that no principal or school administrator should be left behind.

In this regard, he urged the National Principals’ Association to organise workshops and professional development sessions to ensure that its members, especially those with particular challenges, can optimise the skill sets and qualities that landed them their jobs.

“By empowering them, indirectly, we are empowering the students and the children of this country,” the Minister declared.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. A nice thing to say and hear but unless the Act gives them that authority that what you said means nothing. Do not mind the noise from the applause, the principals are simply saying to you let it be as you have said.

  2. Really Shawn, was that to make you feel big or stupid. An irate parent went to a school and slapped a teacher. When the media interviewed the principal, you sent out a communique to all principals that they should not speak to the media unless you give approval. I think all of you are still under the Kenny and Tony spell. I bet you if one principal take your advice you will be condemning all principals.

  3. I find the Minister’s comments very interesting. He needs to be applauded for mentioning the need for professional development for principals. The majority of principals have not had any training in school administration. The hiring process is based on seniority, academic achievement, social status and personal connections. Principals should go through a mentoring process and go through training before assuming that role. Principals need to constantly communicate with their Chief Education officer to avoid need to directly talk to the minister. However, what is the ministry doing to empower principals and what does empowerment look like. The responsibility to develop principals for effective school leadership should not be delegated the Principals Association.

    • This is pure double standard. This is the very same government who told principals that they are no longer to expel students or discipline them. They are the ones who took the power from the principals and now calling on them to do what they were ask not to do. They were ask to let the ministry take all actions and now it’s a different story. What kind of ministers we have running this country. What kind of sleep and forget shit is this

  4. The principal and teachers don’t even speak up for themselves.
    The Chief Education officer says that the children should be at school because they have not finished the curriculum yet the children sat exams that was based on what was supposed to be taught from that same curriculum.
    They can have Carnival and Gros Islet Friday but only have one parent come to graduation at certain if not all schools.
    The teachers, principals and parents who see color need to put their children ahead of politics.


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