The management of schools requires some special skills unlike the management of higher educational institutions. The practical exposure and experience to administer the schools are more important than mere degrees or doctorates in education. In this globalised era, the heavy competition among the government and private schools and among the many private schools has been responsible for making the principals and other administrators rest less to effectively compete with other schools and come out with flying colours. The residential schools compel the principal to spend some extra time and effort for their efficient functioning. In the case of India, the ordinary private schools do compete with international schools to produce better academic results. Most of the people do not rely much on the government schools in India as the private schools are far better as far as providing some infrastructural facilities such as a computer lab, gym, play grounds, etc.
THE ROLE OF A PRINCIPAL:
Principals face the most challenging task of implementing the wishes and the ideologies of the management or the owners of private schools. A principal must understand the curriculum and be effective in the implementation of the schools plans. Targets must be achieved within the stipulated time period. Principals could even be role models for the whole society.
Principals should: possess good attitude, communication skills, effective, fluent in several languages, hardworking, intellectual, monitoring the work of others, optimistic, skillful, talented, understanding the problems and finding out effective and rational solutions, etc.
PRINCIPAL can be written as: POLITE, RAPPORT WITH OTHERS, IDEALISTIC, NOBLE, CHARACTERFUL, INTELLECTUAL, POSITIVE THINKER, ANALYTICAL SKILLS, LEADER. This expansion for Principal summarises the major qualities being expected from a school's administrator or the head of a school from any society. A principal is supposed to maintain cordial relationships with the parents of students, with his immediate sub ordinates such as vice principal to achieve the objectives of any school. The principals relationship with the community and the government officials play an important role for an effective functioning of the schools.
CASE STUDY, PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN ANDHRA PRADESH:
The new economic policy-1991 has been responsible for the mushroom growth of private schools in Andhra Pradesh. One of the main objectives of this policy is to encourage the private investment in several sectors including education. The heavy competition among corporate or private schools compelled the principals to play a major role to attract the students and also to produce better results. Such a competition has also been enhancing the quality of infrastructure in several schools. For instance, some schools provide the facilities of computers and even free distribution of laptops which help in enhancing the knowledge levels of the students. Some schools offer subsidies in fee, free distribution of books, special coaching for various competitive examinations, and also for the annual examinations to improve the performance of the students. Thus the role of principal has been increasing due to heavy competition and increase in the number of tasks unlike the traditional schools. The modern schools also give an opportunity to the principals to prove their skills, talent and time management.
In Andhra Pradesh, most of the principals of schools do take an additional responsibility of counselling the parents to admit their wards in their respective schools. Principals also play a role in the selection of teachers, maintaining the funds, checking and correcting the work of teachers, counselling the academically poor students, recognising the talented teachers and students, taking care of the maintenance of the infrastructure of schools, over all management of the hostels, frequent meetings with the teachers, parents to enhance the quality of the institutions, guidelines to the drivers of school buses for a safe journey of teachers and students, supervising the work of sub ordinates and teachers, etc. Thus a principal must work towards imparting high quality education or making better human resources by spending his or her time effectively.