India has made great strides in providing schooling facilities, widening access and increasing retention of children in schools. However, these efforts have not translated into improvements in learning outcomes. There exist high inequalities even at low levels of student learning. Hence the focus of intervention is shifting from schooling to prioritizing learning. It is noticed that schools with similar resources produce dissimilar learning outcomes. What is lacking is effective management of schools resulting in low levels of learning outcomes and poor school quality.

Effective school leadership improves efficiency in resource use, improves teaching quality and enhances learner achievement. At the instance of the MHRD, NIEPA established a National Centre for School Leadership (NCSL) with the prime objective of: ‘every school excels and every child learns’. The Centre designed a framework and a programme for School Leadership Development (SLD) to develop a new generation of school leaders in India. It is envisaged that the SLD programmes will help schools heads transform their schools into 'Centres of Excellence'.

Within a short span of five years the Centre designed and developed specialized face-to- face SLD programmes specifically targeting the School Heads of all levels of school education. The Centre has also succeeded in developing an Online-programme on School Leadership and Management to extend its coverage to each and every school in the country. The online programme operates through the MOODLE platform and is designed around the Curriculum Framework on School Leadership Development conceptualized by the Centre. The course is designed along the four quadrants: (i) E-Content in the form of reading material or modules (ii) Reference Reading Material consisting of Power Point presentations, case studies, audios, videos and many other types of resources (iii) Self Learning Material with practice exercise and activities; and (iv) Assessment with Multiple Choice Questions, assignments, practice exercises, discussion forums and portfolios.

I congratulate NCSL team for taking a major initiative in developing an effective SLD programme and their digital initiatives to guide School Heads in their efforts to improve institutional performance, transform their schools into centre of learning and excellence within the frame work of Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. N.V Varghese