Letter from the Editorn the perverse Soviet-inspired socio-economic development model imposed upon the public by post-independence Indiaâ€™s socialist leaders and central planners, politicians, bureaucrats and captains of industry â€” particularly in the public sector which in the past half century has gone spectacularly bankrupt â€” are accorded exaggerated importance, notwithstanding their pathetic outcome records. Leaders in other walks of life such as social entrepreneurs, voluntary sector pioneers, academics, writers, scientists and intellectuals, who are actually responsible for the modicum of respect that contemporary India enjoys in the comity of nation states, are way down in the social pecking order mandated by neta-babu socialism which is still the dominant national mindset.
However itâ€™s high time this pecking order dictated by quasi-literate politicians and clerical bureaucrats is challenged, to give due acknowledgement to hitherto unsung and often belittled leaders in other walks of life who have made greater contributions to national development. High up in this category are the leaders of education institutions who have made perhaps the most valuable contribution by moulding, shaping and developing the political, industry and voluntary sector leaders in the vanguard of Indiaâ€™s belated charge into the 21st century. It can hardly be disputed that providing effective leadership to education institutions which develop national human resources, is as onerous and challenging a task as managing a corporate enterprise. Indeed it is arguable that leaders of education institutions who have to manage teachers, students and parents in addition to myriad education inspectors and controllers while juggling limited financial resources, have more difficult and complicated jobs to do.
Against this backdrop, to acknowledge the largely unsung leadership qualities of high-performance school principals, this monthâ€™s cover story has been written. EducationWorld correspondents across the country filed profiles of primary/secondary school principals who are commonly acknowledged among the best in their (i.e our correspondentsâ€™) areas of jurisdiction. The principals â€” school promoters who often create more problems than they resolve, have been deliberately excluded â€” are an eclectic mix, chosen informally. Itâ€™s not our case that the principals profiled in this issue are the countryâ€™s best. Although we believe they are exceptional and model school leaders, our list is not exhaustive. We acknowledge there are numerous others who are doing as good a job of transforming their schools into excellent institutions. We hope this first-of-its-type cover feature will inspire other progressive principals to tell us their stories of institutional growth and development.
Due to capacity constraints created by our mammoth cover feature in this issue, we are obliged to omit our second lead feature. Instead, check out the leisure and travel section which features the adventures of our special correspondent Srinidhi Raghavendra, who is on a historic motorcycle mission to spread the message of Equal Education for All.