Article by Nomava Mpunga
After a series of events which lead to uncertainty and confusion amongst the employees of the Department of Education, the Acting Superintendent General Mthunywa Ngonzo is calling on all employees of the department to bring the Department back to its glory days.
The campaign, themed “Back to Basics” according to Ngonzo is aimed at improving work ethos, inspiring confidence amongst the employees while instilling commitment and accountability. “This is a start of a constructive process of addressing the challenges we have witnessed in the department, with the image of the department, particularly associated perception of which many of them have been negative. Surely, at the end it will require all branches of managers to manage this change processes.” said Ngonzo.
The ‘eight points plan” seeks to mobilise all departmental employees from a teacher at school to the head of department at the provincial offices behind the same vision. Additionally, the plan follows a staff meeting held OR Tambo hall recently organised by Ngonzo to outline the plan to all provincial employees. “The plan directs and controls us to be united when applying the vision of the department”, added Ngonzo.
The proposed change also requires all employees to account for their actions through providing monthly reports collectively and individually to showcase progress or reflect areas where people need intervention. Ngonzo highlighted that the department also needs to create a better working environment for its employees. “We owe it to ourselves to give ourselves another chance through providing an enabling environment for our employees to function optimally”, added Ngonzo.
Despite the hype associated with the arrival of the new head of department, Ngonzo warned the employees to change their negative habits as such might affect the change process.
Zanele Mbawu, a junior clerk at the Human Resource Management Chief Directorate, is one of those who welcomed the proposed change. According to Mbawu, ever since she joined the Human Resource Planning Directorate in 2008, most of the things the document speaks to are like a norm in the Directorate, despite the inability of other directorates’ short fall to implement these pointers. “For an example the signing of the register, performance, work plan agreements and reviews are things that we know we are compelled to sign and do” says Mbawu.
On the issue of training of employees which in many instances creates confusion and conflict amongst employees, the Acting SG made it clear that ‘all employees are entitled to training and development as per their job expectations and should be made to enjoy such privileges’.
The Deputy Director: Special programmes Unit (SPU); Selwyn Bruiners feels the changes are long overdue. “Bring back the days when one was proud to be an education official. Let’s instil pride and dignity as such will motivate us to do and go an extra mile in executing our responsibilities. Infact, that’s how I honestly feel we need to do”, said excite Bruiners.
The plan also cautions that a high level of accountability and immediate interventions for non-compliance should be implemented and further be elevated to higher levels of the Department. It proposes that such would help the department to succeed in turning around its culture for the better, with communication of all decision and expectations of government central as it is fundamental.
As part of the implementation of Back-to Basic Campaign to improve the culture of performance, commitment to work, accountability and sequences for non-compliance. Below are all the pointers contained in the eight point plan and are as follows:
All employees are required to be allocated work as per their agreed upon job description and employment conditions.
All employees are required to report for work and sign the attendance registers which must be removed at 08h10 and return at 15h50 on Fridays, and 16h20 from Monday to Thursday by the supervisors as per regulations.
All employees are required to sign and report daily performance and productivity to the immediate supervisors as per allocated responsibilities.
All employees are required to sign leave forms for approved of absence. All requests and applications for leave of absence at work should be dealt with by an SMS member in the Directorate/Chief and the Branch and NOT below such levels. All leaves without approval should be dealt with as per legislation including implementation of leave without pay.
All employees are required to sign performance and workplan agreements, conduct reviews and be rewarded as expected by law.
All employees are entitled to training and development as per their job expectations and should be made to enjoy such privileges.
All supervisors are required to put more efforts to people management and supervision including wellness of the employees.
Article Tags: back to basics campaign