Enhancing Education Policy & Leadership At A Time Of Crisis


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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected most education systems disrupting learning and exasperating inequalities. Against the backdrop of a disrupted educational landscape, The HEAD Foundation supported a 5-module, 5-day virtual training programme “School Executives Leadership Program Series: Education Policy & Leadership At A Time Of Crisis”. Organised by the Singapore Education Consulting Group in partnership with the International Development Institute on 13-17 July 2020, this programme brought together 44 school principals, administrators and teachers from the Philippines, Nepal and Singapore.

“This pandemic heightens the need for great leadership and underscores needed leadership competencies, both through success in their presence and through failure in their absence.” – Jaida C. Malonzo, SELP participant

This programme aimed to help Asian policy makers and principals better understand the new reality, revisit their school plans, and set appropriate vision and goals for their institutions to thrive in the post-COVID-19 world. Participants honed the leadership and management skills they need to effectively handle their responsibilities while continuously driving school reforms in changing and challenging environments. In particular, the participants learnt about the importance and the process of setting their school vision, goals and strategy from Prof S. Gopinathan, Academic Advisor to The HEAD Foundation; Dr Arun R. Joshi, Founder, Leadership Academy Nepal guided the participants on leading themselves, others, and teams in times of crisis; former Singapore school principal Ms Tan Bin Eng showed how school leaders can take the opportunity to innovate curriculum, teaching and learning; Mrs Belinda Charles, former dean, Academy of Principals Singapore, stressed on building partnerships and collaboration to motivate and support teachers, staff and students in these challenging times; participants were also exposed to e-learning frameworks and technological applications by Dr. Molly Teas, an education consultant.

“This is a difficult time. COVID19 brought anxiety and chaos in education sector… Learning must continue, [it is] difficult but possible.” – Mauricio F. Angeles, SELP participant

As the world bands together to tide through this crisis of a generation, The HEAD Foundation is pleased to continue to support the growth of educational leaders in the region and contribute to the development of forward-looking, context-responsive educational responses. This “new normal” calls for renewed leadership that utilises effective strategies to not just see through the crisis, but also, make use of the opportunities presented in this crisis to emerge stronger.

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Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.