Open Letter to Education Permanent Secretary [column]

The post for the Director Grade 3 level position was aertised in the New Era Newspaper edition of Friday, January 16, 2015, page 40 titled Aert: Career Opportunities at the Ministry of Education, Republic of Namibia, Vacancy. Interestingly, the Omusati Education Director’s post was aertised on the same page with another similar post for the Director Grade 3 level (Otjozondjupa Regional Council, Directorate of Education) though.

The minimum requirements for Otjozondjupa Education Director Grade 3 level, as per the aertisement, were: a recognised Bachelor’s Degree at NQF level 7 plus nine years appropriate experience. Supplementary selection requirements, inter alia, included at least a Master’s degree in education with at least three to six years’ appropriate experience in middle management (deputy director) level, a higher standard of corporate integrity, ethical and professionalism. The supplementary selection requirements specified in the aertisement further required a candidate with a high level of management in strategic planning, budget planning and analysis as well as Tender Board submission formulation and tender management experience. Additionally, such candidate must be self-motivated and a self-starter needing minimum supervision, more analytical and passionate to adapt to the region’s circumstances and contribute towards achievements of the region so that heshe can take the region to the high height in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, integrity, standards and accountability facets of the performance management system (PMS).

Without a doubt, the Otjozondjupa Education Director post’s minimum and supplementary requirements in terms of the qualifications prescribed in the aertisement are as per the notified recruitment rules issued by the Namibian Government Teaching Service Commission and the Public Service Commission. Surprisingly enough, I discovered that this is not the case with the aert requirements for the Omusati Education Director post Grade 3 level.

Hence, the questions “why this disparity if the two posts are the very same, same, same?” May your esteemed office and the Public Service Commission demand a lucid explanation on this inconsistency from the Omusati Regional Council and education directorate?

It is against the above ground that this letter content is brought to your attention for swift intervention, especially if one considers the following contextual factors: applicants are selected according to their relative suitability and in accordance with the Public Service Commission’s selection processes criteria. For this reason, I gly believe aertisements for these posts need to emphasise consistency in the supplementary selection requirements thereof. How can Omusati education directorate human resources (HR) office put the minimum and supplementary selection requirements to be the same for this particular executive post? This is the same level as the Otjozondjupa Education Director’s post, and thus both the minimum requirements and supplementary selection requirements must be specifically the same, same. The grade level is the same. The minimum requirements are also the same and okay in both cases. But the difference comes on the supplementary selection requirements in the sense that the Omusati Education HR office relaxed the supplementary selection requirements to the B. Degree instead of a Master’s Degree in education. Likewise, the Omusati aert for the director’s post has two same requirements and surely this is not consistent with the Otjozondjupa Education Directorate aert.

The bottom line is why should the Omusati aert’s minimum requirements and supplementary selection requirements be the same in this case in point, whereas for Otjozondjupa it is fairly different.

The requirement is to have a person with at least a Master’s Degree in education, or more often, for this particular position.

Now, honourable PS, about the personal qualities for this job. Through its appointment policy, the Public Service Commission has set out its expectations that selection and appointment must be based on merit, sound qualifications and the guiding values of fairness, transparency, efficiency, effectiveness and quality service delivery. As well, appointments must be free from the influence of bungling persons already in the system and the regional councils must coordinate selection and appointment processes as education directorates resort under their jurisdiction. Thus the quality of the aert and selection process and the tools used are fundamental to the identification of most suitably qualified person for this executive post within the Omusati education directorate. This is all about personal qualities and impeccable skills for this task – unlike the current crop of personnel (more about this later).

Gervasius Stephanus (PhD)

Concerned member of the education fraternity

Source : New Era