Guidelines for Governors of Muslim Schools
1. Governorship is an Amanah. The Quran speaks about the concept of Amanah as a great responsibility.
This Amanah must be respected.
2. The Niyyah for being a governor must be pure and noble. The object should not be to seek name, fame or glory. The position should not be abused for personal gain or privileges.
3. Governors should lead by example. They should serve as an inspiration for staff and pupils. There is no point in making or ratifying policies for staff and pupils but not implementing it for oneself. Governors should uphold the institution’s constitution, follow the code of conduct for governors and work to achieve the vision and mission statements of the school.
4. Commitment to the school and its needs and loyalty to the institution is a requirement for Governors. They have to be prepared to make personal sacrifices by giving time, energy and finances to the school.
Shirking or “pass the buck around” and expecting others to do the work is incorrect. Fulfill the task assigned to you at meetings, carry out the functions relating to your post, portfolio or committee. “Every man to his post” is the guiding motto.
5. Attendance at board meetings is a must. Do not stay away from meetings unless there is compelling grounds.
6. Governors should strive for unity among fellow governors, avoid infighting, shun all factors of division, and maintain a respectful attitude and relationship with management, staff and parents.
7. Governors need to be committed to an Islamic dispensation for the school. This will stem from a deep and profound respect for Shariah. They should seek rulings from scholars and follow these carefully.
8. Forward planning is essential. Governors should have “3 year or 5 year plan” for the school, so that these fledgling institutions make good future progress.
9. Governors should strive hard to procure funds and good staffing for school as an important priority.
10. Attending educational workshops, seminars and conferences for enrichment and inspiration is very beneficial. Trying to seek out new and good ideas is a healthy sign. Governors should be prepared to learn and benefit from the experiences of others. They should accept the need for increasing their own knowledge.
11. Tolerance to criticism and seeking the positive aspects therein is the hallmark of mature governors. Do not be defensive all the time by not accepting blame or acknowledging mistakes. Know your limitations and do not claim expertise in areas beyond your knowledge. Do not try to teach teachers and administrators their job. Constructive suggestions are good but should not be insisted upon.
12. Governors are required to be fair, just, balanced and objective at all times.
13. Cooperate and work closely with other Islamic schools, AMS and other organizations. Work towards improving the network of schools. Ethics are essential and “poaching” staff from other schools is unacceptable. Unhealthy competition and rivalries between schools must be shunned.