Elite education versus leadership education
It seems to be a common misperception that boarding schools have ‘elite education’ as their first and foremost aim. ‘Elite education’ refers to the cultivation of students with special academic, sport or other capabilities. This can be achieved by attending a regular day school with high competitiveness, going to a tutorial centre, or receiving extra training. Boarding schools, on the other hand, focus on ‘leadership education’.
It is self-evident that most organisations in society are complex and their operations depend on collaboration between people from various backgrounds. The leader is the one who motivates and leads team members towards successful outcomes. He or she take responsibility for setting goals, managing available resources, and coordinating different parts of the organisation. The qualities required are inherently different from those of the elite or the specialist.
Boarding schools are common places for ‘leadership education’ at the secondary level, just as business schools are at the tertiary level. By living a communal academic life, boarders acquire the social skills essential for effective leadership.