Flexible and Scalable Compulsory Education and Training: Challenges, Solutions and Lessons Learned

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Flexible and Scalable Compulsory Education and Training: Challenges, Solutions and Lessons Learned
Stream: Education, Sustainability & Society: Social Justice, Development & Political Movements
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Fran Greyling, National School of Government, South Korea
Denise Miller, National School of Government, South Africa


The notion of social justice is inherent to capacity development in the South African public sector. In 2019 Government issued a directive calling for the completion of an approved course as a minimum requirement for appointment into Senior Management Service (SMS). This pre-entry intervention aims to strengthen the recruitment process and reduce time to competence.
The National School of Government, mandated to develop capacity in the South African public sector, responded to the directive. The curriculum team tasked with the project followed a collaborative design strategy. With the intended outcome of the project as focus, the team utilised an action research method to come up with a flexible and scalable learning solution that is accessible to all who want to apply for a senior management position in public service.
The resulting learning solution is titled Nyukela, a Nguni word meaning “step up”, as an invitation to step up to serve. Nyukela considers the South African context. The design principles and content foreground the application of decolonising approaches based on social justice principles for optimum impact on leadership quality in the system. The course highlights the South African Constitution and the consciousness of inclusive, citizen-centred service delivery.
Since its inception in 2020 more than 12 000 participants enrolled in the course. Participation has been tracked, analysed and reported to take informed action and improve the learning experience.
The paper reports on the curriculum design, implementation and participants’ reaction to the course. Lessons, that can be useful in similar contexts, are highlighted.

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