Training And Educational Developments In The Public Service
Training and education are seen as vehicles for improving and enhancing the public service and the society at large. It is an investment in the human capital, and an effort to remedy and ensure that the skills of the public servant are fitted for the challenges of the years ahead. Education and training are considered as an important aspect of the public service, for it impacts the right attitude, increase in knowledge level and the acquisition of higher skills for service.
Education in the public service involves the process of inculcating into the individual employee, the working knowledge values, attitudes and skills of the organization. This helps to give the proper understanding of the prospects and problems of the organization. The individual’s development is necessary to encourage the performance of specific tasks and to assume higher responsibilities.
Education, training and human development helps to reinforce the structure of the public service system. It drives the service to professionalism, virile development skills, expertise and attitudes of the human resources. It further provides for the understanding of the guiding principles, policies and the various reforms in the public service.
However, Armstrong (1996) holds training as the systematic modification of behaviour, through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience. It is a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge and skill. It aims to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy the current manpower needs of the system.
Jahns (1981) sees training as those acts, events and episodes in which people engage to improve their performance in specific job related tasks. It is described as a ‘change agent’ i.e it holds the purpose to effect change in knowledge, skills and attitudes which are orientated towards the job requirement. Training is the most valuable and continuing investment of all our national resources the energies of the people.
Training in the public service is employer based and the content monitored and formalized to improve the public service. The training of staff is the responsibility of civil service commission and working closely with Ministries, departments and the Establishment and training department of the office of the Head of Service. The public service environment provides the styles and formats of training. They include; individual coaching, job rotation, job attachments, mentoring, sitting Nellie, further educational courses, open learning, project work and learning by doing.
Training could be organized on central or inter ministerial or departmental levels. The establishment and manpower development department at the office of the Head of Service and the Ministry of Establishment upholds training as an integral part of the civil service. It is purposeful and cost effective and truly relevant to the needs and success of the civil service. Courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and programmes are organized to broaden the scope of officers in the public service. These are usually organized locally, institutional based and overseas, and sometimes in collaboration with training and human development institutes.
Purposes Of Training
1. The fundamental aim of training is to help the public service to add value to its key resources (the people). It involves investing in people to enable them perform and develop Competence cum growth in the service. The process is systematic designed to modify behaviour in order to attain a stated objectives of the public service. It is also a deliberate activity with interest to improve the persons performance.
2. Training prepares people to work and increase their worth to themselves and the organization. It provides the basic understanding of the job and function. It equally broadens knowledge and the development of specialist skills and knowledge and the development of specialist skills and knowledge to carry out the civil service job. It makes the job to be more interesting. It also facilitates promotion and helpful at retirement.
3. Training helps to boost the employees morale and motivation for effective performance. It helps to create a feeling of belonging, value and integration. This makes it possible for the employee in the civil service to familiarize with the tools, working machinery and the environment. This subsequently increases his/her ability and performances.
4. Training aims at providing the public service with the needed manpower. It strives to identify the right skills in both quality and quantity, in order to guarantee continued survival, improved performance, consistency and growth. The relevant shortcomings of the employee, identified through the Annual Performance Evaluation Reports (APER) are remedied through training and developments. Trainings help to modify patterns of the public service organization. It creates for flexibility and constant review of structure, goals and achievements.
Training Institutions For Public Service In Nigeria
Training institutions for the development of the public service were mainly established by the government. Training centers, programmes and courses are usually approved for public officers by the Establishment and staff Development Division of the officer of the head of Service. The various institutes available for the training of different cadres of the public officers in Nigeria are reviewed as below:
1. Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON)
ASCON was statutorily established by the Decree No 39 of 1973. It holds the responsibility to provide higher management training for the public and the private sectors and to conduct researches into problems of management and administration of the public service. It is expected to arrange for a comparative study and the investigation of principles and techniques of management and administration, creating for exchange of ideas and experiences for the promotion of better understanding between persons connected with management and administration in the various spheres of our national life.
ASCON has since it’s inception organized annually a considerable nuber of programmes, trainings, seminars, courses and conferences, which covers virtuaally all areas of management of the public service. It conducts public service examinations and runs training programmes althrough the year. It hosts international and national conferences, seminars and workshops for the public service and relevant government agencies and institutions. It awards grants, scholarships or travel fellowships for research in public service, administration and allied subjects.
2. Centres For Management Development
It is a non-profit making arm of the National council of Management Development. It started in January 1973 with the objectives of assisting the government on policies, plans and programmes for the enhancement of number, quality and effective utilization of the managerial manpower resources in all sectors of the economy. The center develops and promotes high national standards of management education, entrepreneurial development and the supervision of training programmes. It has helped to formulate policies and guidelines for the coordination of management programme management training institution and the training of public officers.
3. Ministerial Training Committee System (MTCS)
This is an institutional arrangement for the harmonization of procedures, methods and processes in the management of training and the functions in the Federal and State Civil Service System. It is one of the paraphernalia of the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) in the Federal and State Civil Service.
The committee is established under the decree No 43 of 1988 on the civil service reforms. It is an effort to assist in the effective implementation of the Federal governments guidlines on the civil service reforms. It adopts approaches and systematic techniques which facilitate trainings and human development in the civil service.
4. Systematic Approach To Training (SAT)
According to Godstein (1980): This concept indicates that there are many different system approaches to training as there are actors on the subject (public service). This approach encourages the employee to think widely about objectives, opportunities and difficulties in an organizational system. It takes account of relevant variables in given context. It is more flexible and be applied at different levels in the public service for training and human development. It tends to appreciate that the system may either be open or closed. This approach with its mechanisms and institutions are adopted in the training and development of the human resources in the public.
Conversely, the Universities, tertiary institutions and colleges with their relevant courses and institutes for the study of public administration and related courses have assisted in training and manpower development in the civil service. Other institutes, colleges and bodies include:
1. National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru Near Jos.
2. Nigerian Institute of Foreign Affairs.
3. Civil Service College
4. Nigerian Law School
5. Nigerian Institute of Personal Management
6. Nigerian Institute of Management
7. Nigerian Labour College, Ilorin
8. Chartered Institute of Public Administrators and Secretaries.
9. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) And Chartered Institute of Public Accountants.
10. Police College and Cadet Institutes.
11. Immigration and Customs Training Schools
12. Nigerian Institute Of Journalism
13. Nigerian Television College, Jos etc.