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Online course to end discrimination in the public service

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The National School of Government (NSG) is rolling out an online course to end all forms of discrimination in the public service space.

In a recently released circular to heads of national and provincial administration, Public Service and Administration Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi said the Anti-Discrimination online course is developed explicitly for public servants.

“”The circular informs all national and provincial departments of the “Championing Anti-Discrimination in the public sector course that the NSG is rolling out.

“The Anti-Discrimination online course has been developed explicitly for public servants to intervene in, and ultimately end discrimination in the public service, amongst public servants and by public servants,” she said.

According to the Director-General, the purpose of the online course is “to examine our beliefs, attitudes, thinking, and behaviour to strengthen public sector officials to be capable of combating discrimination wherever they may find it.”

Ms Makhasi said the Anti-Discrimination course also provides information on the key concepts, principles, and application of championing Anti-discrimination in the public service space.

She said participants will be encouraged to continue all conversations around the content of this programme with peers, colleagues, friends, and family, privately and in public.

“This course is practical and non-accredited, and it has no relation to any existing NQF Unit Standard. Participants attempt the formative assessment throughout the course through ‘Knowledge Checks’ facilitated by the NSG online system,” she said, adding that they will get certificates after [successfully] completing the programme, which they can print out for themselves online.

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Critically reflect on own beliefs, attitudes, thought patterns, and behaviour;
  • Identify and apply relevant strategies to challenge discrimination in all contexts;
  • Examine legislation that addresses discrimination processes and plans how to use these principles;
  • Assess own departmental policies and practices in the light of global anti-discrimination standards; and
  • Initiate and support anti-discrimination behaviour in the public sector.

Ms Makhasi said participants will also have access to online assistance if they require it over the one month completion period.

Asked about the target audience, the Director-General said: “the course is available to all public servants in national, provincial, local government and government entities including institutions supporting democracy and state-owned enterprises.

“English will be the language of learning, and the participant inclusion will equitable in terms of race, gender, disability, age, and all other forms of discrimination addressed in the Constitution.

“Anti-Discrimination training is part of the MTSF targets in the Priority Six Cluster plan of action. It is also part of the MPSA performance agreement with the MTSF target of 95% of public servants trained to deal with all forms of discrimination by 2024,” she said.

The basic requirements for those interested to participate on the online course is a grade 12 senior certificate.