In response to Banarin’s question, Sreng Limhour, the 33-year-old director of Hun Sen Korng Tany high school in Kampong Cham province, provided some tips on how to be a successful principal.
Youth should be well prepared and learn about the tasks that principals are responsible for, said Limhour, who added that he often has to deal with the Ministry of Education, NGOs and other partners. Furthermore, he has to act as a judge and help solve problems when staff and students get into fights.
Limhour, who has been a principal since he was 26, said that age is not very important, but that it is necessary to have knowledge and possess leadership abilities. He added that good directors need leadership skills, personal responsibility, and flexibility – you do not always need to persuade others to agree with you.
Furthermore, communication skills play an important role in the path of success. You should have good relationships with students and staff members. “Learn about each other and live together—when they understand each other, the work will run smoothly,” said Limhour.
Limhour also said a school director should have a master’s degree at least, and should also be gentle, respectful and have good character. He also said experience can be acquired through hard work.
“If you do not have experience as a school principal, do not worry – earn experience from doing other things,” said Limhour, who added that youths can gain experience from the elderly, who should be held in high regard.
Most importantly, a principal must lead by example. If you live your life poorly, others will not want to follow your example.