The National School of Government (NSG) turns 10 years this month and a number of activities are taking place this week to mark the milestone as well as the contribution of the school towards public sector capacity building and performance.
Principal of the NSG, Professor Busani Ngcaweni, said the school will use the celebrations to reach out to its target market in the public sector and raise awareness of the work of the School in broader society.
“The NSG has an important role to play in the drive towards a more professional, efficient, effective and caring public sector. Together with our partners, we look forward to working even harder to attain the goals set by government to achieve an ethical, capable developmental state,” said Ngcaweni.
The NSG came into existence through a proclamation by the President which was gazetted on 21 October 2013, replacing the then Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA). The proclamation made the NSG a national government department under the portfolio of the Minister of Public Service and Administration.
The NSG will mark its 10th year anniversary with a celebratory event on 19 October 2023, among other events and the NSG Open Week.
The School said it has scored several achievements in the past 10 years of existence. The institution has delivered training to more than 526 000 participants, generating revenue from course fees of more than R1 billion.
“The past three years since 2020 have been a period of renewal and repositioning, with the NSG engaging in a robust marketing and visibility drive within its target market, public servants, as well as the broader public sector and academia in South Africa and beyond,” the National School of Government said in a statement.
"The school hosted several high impact engagements such as the Master Classes delivered virtually and face-to-face, thus earning a space as a thought leader on governance and the building of a professional public sector.
“The NSG continues to ensure good governance and financial management, with unqualified and clean audits being registered in consecutive years,” the NSG said.
The NSG has proven to be resilient during difficult times. Through innovation and agility, the school overcame the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic lockdown that was declared in March 2020 caused booking cancellations and a low uptake of courses.
“The NSG COVID-19 response plan prioritised digital and online learning interventions as well as the installation and application of digital tools.
“The NSG also saw an unprecedented number of online enrolments for eLearning courses. For the period April 2020 to December 2021, 123 000 learners enrolled for the eLearning courses. Over the last three years alone, there has been eLearning enrolments of more than 194 000 learners,” it said.
The work of the NSG has also been enhanced by the decision of government to make building a capable, ethical and developmental state the number one priority among the seven priorities outlined in the 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).
The NSG offers training in the three spheres of government to all levels - from the cadet and foundation phase to middle and senior management as well as executive management.
its expanded mandate also includes Directors-General, Deputy Directors-General and political office-bearers, where the focus includes building expertise on economic governance, political oversight and accountability.
The past three years have seen Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Mayors and councillors participating in the programmes of the school as part of the concerted effort at improving state capacity at the highest level.
The delivery model includes classroom-based learning, practice-based learning, e-Learning, webinars, student exchanges and dialogue with actors in the public and private sector.
The work of the NSG is also supported by various local and international partners.
The NSG committed in its Strategic Plan 2019-2024 to use partnerships with public and private institutions in South Africa and the rest of the world to deliver quality education, training and development interventions to expand learning opportunities through access to international expertise and represent the NSG in the global knowledge exchange network in order to position it globally and expand its international footprint and recognition as a thought leader. The School works with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and other Management Development Institutes in South Africa, Africa and around the world.
These partnerships have seen public officials engage in exchanges with similar and leading institutions from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
The NSG delivers high-level executive education programmes as well as compulsory programmes for public servants.
The Cabinet-approved Economic Governance School for Members of the Executive programme targets Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, Members of Executive Councils, Mayors and Members of Mayoral Councils. The purpose of the programme is to enable Members of the Executive to reflect and broaden perspectives on critical topics as they work towards building a capable developmental state and to achieve the country’s economic recovery.
The NSG also delivers Etella, which means ‘lead’ in Sesotho, a leadership programme for Accounting Officers, namely Directors-General, Heads of Departments (HoDs) in provincial government, Municipal Managers, Chief Executive Officers of public enterprises and Ambassadors as Heads of Missions.
All persons wishing to be appointed into the senior management service in government must successfully complete the compulsory Nyukela programme offered by the NSG, with effect from 1 April 2020. In the 2022/23 financial year, a total of 7450 learners enrolled for the course, with 5523 learners successfully completing the programme. The target group includes those individuals who aspire to work in the senior management service for the first time, and those progressing from one level within the SMS to another, who have not yet done this programme.
The Ethics in the Public Service course was made compulsory for all public servants and has been promoted extensively online as one of the NSG’s flagship programmes. It continues to attract many public servants, which augurs well for Priority One, to build an ethical, capable and developmental state. In the 2022/23 financial year, there was a total enrolment of 16753 participants. A total of 13765 learners completed the course, which reflected an 82% achievement.
The NSG programmes also extend to traditional leadership. A total of 73 traditional leaders attended the NSG Art of Facilitation programme in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The programme seeks to empower traditional leaders to act as economic change agents in their communities and to participate in leading rural development interventions that create sustainable jobs and community wealth. – SAnews.gov.za
Source: South African Government News Agency