Correctional Services embarks on a journey to establish a Corrections Learning Academy

Screen Shot 2023-03-08 at 08.33.46As part of developing and aligning its human resource requirements with its rehabilitation objectives, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) hosted a roundtable discussion on the establishment of a Corrections Learning Academy on 02 March 2023, at Kgoši Mampuru II Management Area. These discussions were aimed at soliciting inputs from internal and external stakeholders on the approach that DCS should follow in establishing a Corrections Learning Academy that will contribute to educating, training and developing ideal correctional officials in an ideal correctional environment.

Screen Shot 2023-03-08 at 08.34.41Setting the scene, National Commissioner, Makgothi Thobakgale firstly outlined the role of DCS and contextualized various roles and careers within the department. “This concept of establishing Corrections Learning Academy is in line with the White Paper on Corrections which states that the Human Resource Strategy should include human resource planning; provisioning; maintenance, development and the entrenchment of an organisational culture that is appropriate for the delivery of the department’s mandate and contribute towards building a safer South Africa,” said Commissioner Thobakgale.He also indicated that although there are existing programmes offered to empower officials with adequate learning, skills and training development, the establishment of the Academy signals a transition and enhancement of what already exists within the correctional system, to improve service delivery by equipping officials with the necessary tools.

Screen Shot 2023-03-08 at 08.35.18The Principal of the National School of Government (NSG), Professor Busani Ngcaweni, urged DCS to engage in critical thinking and strategic reflections on the journey towards establishing a learning academy and other important factors inherent thereto. These includes evaluating the current state of correctional services and how it benefits South Africans, and how the learning academy can assist to bring improvements. He also proposed a strategic approach to establishing a learning academy which encompasses the existence and aspirations to be achieved; space and boundaries; success factors; capabilities and management systems for its success. Ngcaweni also shared some valued lessons from the NSG, including its establishment, evolution and positioning in the country as well as the importance of stakeholder partnerships.
Reflecting on national and international benchmarking in relation to establishing learning academies, the South African Police Service, represented by Major-General Hendrick Chauke who is responsible for In-Service Police Development, shared insights on how their learning academies were established and structured.

There were other valuable presentations from representatives from various universities, and the South African Defence Force. Globally recognised oversight organisation, Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) shared their national and international footprint, funding models, and different methods of teaching and learning through various platforms. The SETA is mandated to promote and facilitate the delivery of Education, Training and Development in order to enhance the skills profile of the Education, Training and Development (ETD) sector and contribute to the creation of employment opportunities especially for those previously disadvantaged.
Screen Shot 2023-03-08 at 08.36.31
In her closing remarks, Deputy Commissioner: Human Resources Development, Linda Bond profusely acknowledged all officials, internal and external stakeholders who attended the session for their valuable contributions. In an effort to promote learning, skills and training development of officials, the department has partnered with higher learning institutions, including the University of South Africa and other accredited organisations, and is committed to venture into opportunities that produce ideal correctional officials that possess unique combination of personal qualities, multi-skilled, with revered expertise and professional ethics.

WordPress Lightbox