Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications
Edited By Robert A. DeVillar, Binbin Jiang and Jim Cummins
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Networking and Transformation: School Leadership Programs and Practices in Singapore: Lee Hean Lim & Zhi Quan Lim
Lee Hean Lim & Zhi Quan Lim
Introduction to a 3-Decade Journey
Singapore’s educational policies are closely intertwined with school leadership program design and implementation at the National Institute of Education (NIE), an autonomous institute of the Nanyang Technological University. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has always been allocated the second-largest portion of the national budget (Ministry of Finance, 2012), reflecting the local government’s commitment to maximizing the development of human resources. School leaders have always been deemed major educational assets of this island state, which is devoid of any natural resources. Their quality development serves to position Singapore for the future. The NIE contributes to the development of these leaders “by providing a platform for them to enhance their capacity to take their schools to new heights of excellence” (Leaders in Education Programme, 2012, p. 3). Concomitantly, there has been increasing pressure on Singapore’s leaders to be accountable for student achievement in learning.
Singapore’s nationwide school leadership development programs have been evolving. Though there have been numerous program reviews and modifications, there were only two significant program changes during the period 1984–2012. From 1984 to 2000, a full-time program of one academic year’s duration, termed Diploma in Educational Administration (DEA), served to formally prepare promising in-service school educators of Singapore for school leadership. It adopted a structured and system-wide incorporation of mentoring. In 2001, DEA was ← 231 | 232 → replaced by the Leaders in Education Program (LEP), which aspiring Singapore school leaders attended...