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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Excellence in Rural Schools: The Role of The Principal

Dr Sharifah Md Nor.

It is quite surprising that rural schools with students from poor family background can meet the criteria of ‘Sekolah Harapan Negara’ and to be chosen as one. Sekaolah Harapan Negara is an award conferred to schools recognized as effective at the national level by the Ministry of Education. It is conceivable that principals of such schools play an important role to this end. A study was done involving two rural secondary schools awarded the ‘ Sekolah Harapan Negara ‘to unravel the principals’ leadership practices and behavior as perceived by their teachers. Also surveyed were teachers’ satisfaction towards the principals’ role in increasing/maintaining the effectiveness of the school, and teachers’ satisfaction as a whole. Questionnaires were administered to 77 teachers and the principals were interviewed.

Data were analyzed descriptively. The findings indicate that teachers are positive about their principal’s leadership practices and are satisfied with their roles in maintaining the excellence of the schools. Interviews with the principals provided an insight to their thoughts and actions. The findings shed light on best practices in rural secondary schools.


Dr Sharifah Md Nor  (Malaysia)
Faculty of Educational Studies
University Putra Malaysia

Sharifah Md Nor is a professor at the Faculty of Educational Studies University Putra Malaysia. Her field of specialization is sociology of education, her focus of study are,rural education,education of the disadvantaged,and effective schools.At present she is the coordinator of The Centre of Basic Research 'CARE'( Children at Risk Education)Faculty of Educational Studies UPM.She has conducted about 20 major resarch and have published her findings in journals,books and proceedings.

  • Rural Schools
  • Principal's roles
  • Effective Schools

(30 min Conference Paper, English)