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Letter to the editor

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OPEN LETTER TO DIRECTOR- DPSM

Dear Madam,

On Monday 25th May, while attending training at the Botswana Public Service Course (BPSC), we witnessed a trainer being pulled out of training by a senior officer, to the disgust of all of us.

It was rough the manner in which it happened! We hear the senior officer has to like you, for you to enjoy your peace at the BPSC.

You have to be in her gossiping clique to win such favour. Each of the senior officers have their own people.

This thing has degenerated so seriously at the BPSC! Ke motshelo!

The motshelo thing is so serious that the three senior officers share the vote for international travel amongst themselves annually.

If they cannot go anywhere else, they would definitely go to Singapore.

It is guaranteed! They have family friends there!

They have been to Singapore, and to the same Civil Service College more than five times each.

Not a single thing has been done at the BPSC as a result of these excursions.

Even this year, they are bound to go on their usual excursion.

They brag to their juniors that they are international!

We have just come out of their pitso, this was the third of such consultative meetings to which the BPSC had a courtesy of inviting some of us.

We attended one with government Training Coordinators, and later another with Policy and Research Officers.

We were deeply worried when the call was made for the BPSC to be mandatory institution of learning for all public servants during the recent pitso.

Prior to accepting the recent invitation some of my colleagues who are graduates of the former BIAC were really concerned about the caliber of trainers at the BPSC. We know them!

We have gone back to attend short courses at the BPSC. When we compare notes later after 5 years, no single course notes have been updated.

Their sessions largely comprise of outdated concepts.

Their training standard is too low! This is simple, these people have no clue about what happens in a real government office.

They need initiation locally.

We would not be surprised that, the BPSC would not be represented at the 2015 CESPAM conference hosted by the University of Botswana in June.

It might coincide with their annual trip to Singapore.

In fact, confidence could also be a challenge!

During all these consultative fora we seldom hear them utter a word, they are just too shy.

During the recent pitso we were hoping for a good exchange of ideas with these senior officers.

We were as usual disappointed at their silence!

The presentation by the doctor chap was inspirational though.

During the day of Pitso we noticed with disappointment that the programme for the day had to be altered to exclude these senior officers.

At some point, the Directors of Ceremony for the event told us the officers would lead discussions during syndicate groups and that was not to be!

It is our expectation that when the Botswana Public Service College was transformed, that was for a good course.

It is our hope that the BPSC shall be capacitated to transform the whole public service for efficient service delivery.

It is disappointing however, that when BIAC has transformed in its mandate, the same officers execute, if at all they do, duties of capacitating civil servants now for “improved service delivery.”

Madam, we have engaged with the trainers in class, they are clueless when it comes to practical government work.

They have no experience at all! How then do they capacitate me about my work?

In one of our meetings, we suggested to then Executive Director that the BPSC management should with immediate effect be attached to ministries and departments for hands-on learning experience.

It is apparent that they lack on the job experience to be at par with their trainees.

They lack that even more than some of their juniors we suspect.

That notwithstanding, they are always globetrotting under the pretext of benchmarking.

Is it not funny that the same officers go to the same campus in Singapore on yearly basis to benchmark?

We humbly request that you stop these international benchmarks by these officers and have them learn from their local counterparts.

We request that the trainers at BPSC be immediately sent for attachment to ministries and departments to gain first hand experience of issues we, their potential trainees grapple with daily.

They have had enough of international experience, it is high time they gained some local and practical experience.

We wish for our own public service college to up its standards and humbly request that you heed our call.

The current human resource for the BPSC is simply irrelevant for the project’s mandate and if it has to be mandatory for all the civil servants.

Concerned Government Employees