The “Certificate Programme in Catholic Leadership in Education” initiated and jointly offered by the Bishop Domingos Lam Centre for Research in Education (D.L.C.R.E.) of the University of Saint Joseph (U.S.J.) and the Diocesan Catholic Education Commission (Comissão Diocesana da Educação Católica, C.D.E.C) has commenced on 11 May 2021, with a simple ceremony presided over by the Most Reverend Bishop Stephen Lee Bun Sang; Mr. Stephen Chan Teng Fong, Office Director of the C.D.E.C.; Professor Keith Morrison, Vice-Rector of U.S.J.; Professor Alejandro Salcedo Garcia, Administrator of U.S.J.; and Professor Ana Maria Correia, Director of D.L.C.R.E..
Professor Keith Morrison, one of the creators of the Programme, expressed that leadership of Catholic schools is a key to bringing about the best of Catholic education, and that the highest quality Catholic leadership in education is essential. This Programme is significant in the way that it targets and charges agents of change to take the lead in unlocking and realising the promises of Catholic education, while calling for a vision of education that reaches beyond materialism and narrow instrumentalism in serving Macao. Professor Ana Maria Correia revealed in her speech that even when the Programme had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of hours had to be lowered, the aim of the Programme remained intact. The Programme would serve as a space where Catholic school leaders have opportunities to reflect on the mission and vision of Catholic education. She also expressed that it had been a pleasant experience to develop the collaboration between the D.L.C.R.E. and C.D.E.C., and hoped that in the future they would continue contributing towards the development of education in Macau. Mr. Stephen Chan referred to this Programme in his speech as a “platform for A.I.”, not in the sense of “Artificial Intelligence” but a “platform for educators to share and put their Acquired Intelligence into practice at work”, bringing all participants together to share and learn from each other concerning challenges and difficulties at work in schools and in the society, to grow altogether and accompany each other towards the same goal. He also quoted from Proverbs 13:20 “Walk with wise men and you will become wise”, expressing his belief that the Programme could bring together the wisdom of the Instructors and all participants that a righteous path full of Catholic core values to steer the schools for the future can be found through the perspectives, knowledge and experiences of current and future leaders of Catholic schools. After showing his gratitude towards the Instructors, he blessed the participants with the best of luck in their studies.
The “Certificate Programme in Catholic Leadership in Education” aims at further developing Catholic principals and potential leaders at all levels of Macao’s Catholic schools. The programme is based on on best practices and is designed to enable leaders at all levels of a school to understand and practice effective leadership within a context of Catholic education. The Programme provides an overview and theoretical understanding of the common elements that shape Catholic philosophy of education with the principles and practice of effective school leadership, and indicates how these are addressed in the daily practices of leadership in Catholic schools in Macao. The 39-hour programme consists of seven taught modules delivered face-to-face in 13 lesson meetings, starting from the topic of Foundations of Catholic Education, that leads to Faith Leadership and Pastoral Care in Catholic Schools, as well as Organisational and Managerial Leadership in Catholic Schools, Strategic and Political Leadership, Professional Learning and Development, and Emerging Leaders Identification, in order to help participants make connections in the context of the values and beliefs of the Catholic Church for the development and implementation of effective management that allows the school to readily provide quality education. Instructors include Bishop Stephen Lee Bun Sang; Fr. Cyril Jerome Law Jr., Chancellor of Diocese de Macau; Fr. Thomas Lee Yick Kiu, Supervisor of Colégio Dom Bosco Yuet Wah; Fr. Albert Ho Ka Fai, Office Director of Comissão Diocesana para a Liturgia; Sr. Margaret Cheung Yung Sau, Principal of P.H.C. Chan Sui Ki; Sr. Suen Yin Wan, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary; Mr. Stephen Chan Teng Fong, Office Director of C.D.E.C.; Ms. Rita Lau dos Reis, Principal of Escola de Santa Madalena; Ms. Cecilia Lao Lai Mui, Principal of Eschola de Nossa Senhora de Fátima; Ms. Irene Cheong Wai Ling, Principal of Colégio Mateus Ricci; Dr. Alejandro Salcedo Garcia, Administrator of U.S.J.; Dr. Francis Chan Nai Kwok, Associate Professor in Caritas Institute of Higher Education in Hong Kong; and Dr. Gerald Wu Kam Yuen, Division Deputy Head of Caritas Hong Kong Education Services.
The Programme is held for the first time and lasts for 8 weeks. 31 participants have been admitted from 18 Catholic Schools of Macao, who have been recommended and sponsored either by the school management or the licensed entity of the schools they serve. Roles the participants assume in their respective schools include principal, acting principal, assistant principal, vice-principal, and members of managing positions that include Deans, Masters, Prefects in areas of counselling, administration, extracurricular activities, and for different education stages or subject panels etc.