The promotion of self-development of the employees in Zambia's Public Service: The case of the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education
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The study investigated the promotion of Self-development in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (MESVTEE). The Self-development of employees is widely practised in Zambia’s Public Service. The Public Service has adopted policies to support professional development in order to improve the efficiency of Public Service employees. However, Self-development has continued to be a challenge despite Government’s support for professional development. Employees have faced numerous challenges with regard to procedure, sponsorship, time, study leave among others in their quest to undertake Self-development. The overall objective of this study was to investigate the promotion of the Self-development of employees and its effects on the work performance of employees in MESVTEE. The specific objectives of the study were: to identify the measures put in place by the Zambian government to promote Self-development in the MESVTEE; to find out the effects of the Self-development of employees on their work performance and; to find out the problems that the Public Service employees and the MESVTEE face in Self-development. This study had a sample size of 151 respondents; these consisted of 135 teachers from the eight schools selected in Munali constituency, eight (8) head teachers, one from each of the selected schools, four (4) officials form Public Service Management Division and four (4) officials from MESVTEE. The study used both primary and secondary data. The study was qualitative and quantitative in its design. Qualitative data was analysed by transcribing it into the major themes which emerged, while quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Excel. This study found out that the MESVTEE has put in place a number of measures to promote Self-development, and these include; sponsorship, full-time and distance learning, part-time and distance learning, fast-track, educational policy, study leave, tuition loan, training plan, transfers, promotions and secondments among others. The study found out that Self-development improves the performance of employees. This study revealed that there are several problems that the employees and the MESVTEE face as a result of promoting Self-development. These problems include; lack of study rooms, limited time, inadequate finances, lack of interest and attitude, lack of motivation, understaffing, long procedure, communication, bureaucracy and red tape, unconducive environment, poor academic progress, unauthorised studies, victimisation, corruption, favouritism and limited sponsorship. This study recommends that there should be financial intervention by the MESVTEE through sponsorships, grants, loans, schemes, tuition advances, study allowances, and budgetary allocations for human resource development should be increased. The MESVTEE should recruit relief employees in order to overcome the problem of understaffing due to Self-development. The MESVTEE should shorten the procedure of obtaining study leave and the training plan should accommodate more employees. There should be a deliberate policy to support Self-development.
University of Zambia
Master of Public Administration