South Africa Unveils A New School of Government

South Africa Unveils A New School of Government

The government of South Africa said it has made a dramatic change in the way public service will be taught during the unveiling of a National School of Government Monday in Pretoria.

The new school is a product of the frustration over the way students had been taught in the past, and the desire to control how and what they are taught in the future, according to a report on SAnews, the South African Government News Agency.

“Put sharply, curricula and programs will be designed on the basis of a sound understanding of the challenges and realities of the public service environment. It is about unleashing the best in our students to enable reform and performance-oriented public service,” said Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

In the past, the government tried different ways of educating public servants and found their education to be too focused on general knowledge and skills to provide a quality, useful education to future public servants.

Sisulu appointed a task team of education professionals and scholars who spent nine months researching and designing a concept for the new school.

“We’ve come to the realization that establishing functioning state machinery, the creation of a public service ethos and the creation of a cadre of government is a responsibility that cannot and should not be outsourced,” Sisulu said.

The new school will have a multidisciplinary team of lecturers, facilitators, trainers and organisational development experts, according to the report.

Sisulu described the new staff as “highly trained and experienced, comprising committed and competent retired public servants, current committed, ethical professionals in government and new recruits that understand and have knowledge based on both the academic and world of work within public service.”

The school will also have a principal, several deputy principals and a registrar. A council, which reports to Sisulu, will determine the school’s overall policy and standards on education, training and professional development.

“Our new academic approach to professionalizing and making the public service efficient and effective ought to set the new public administration management frontiers to the year 2030,” Sisulu said.