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Poor qualifications lead to poor service

By The Standard | December 17th 2015

The recently released Public Service Commission's Annual Report 2015 reveals a worrying trend in the public service where majority of the workers do not have formal education. The report assesses the extent to which the public service has been able to comply with the national and public service values and principles. The document is an annual progress report by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on ministries, departments and authorities.

The content of the report reveals the level of ineptitude in the public service where out of a workforce of 184,519, only 55,355 hold a degree from a recognised university. At least 10 per cent of the entire public service work force only boasts of a primary school certificate while others in this group have no academic qualifications whatsoever.

When this is broken down into ministries, it emerges that only 15 per cent of the public service workers have university degrees while 69 per cent are Form Four or Form Six certificate holders. The level of education is observed to be higher only within the commissions where the threshold for admission is set higher. How did we get here yet aspire through policy papers and ministerial projections to have a truly literate and professional service that can meet the expectations of the public who seek Government services?

No doubt, nepotism, cronyism and the rewarding of loyalists has played a significant role in ensuring those who don't merit employment in the public service still end up getting jobs as a reward. Because such employees have no interest in their jobs and owe their allegiance to their benefactors, it is not uncommon to receive poor service or at worst, find empty chairs in Government offices. The Government therefore needs to ensure that only those who qualify are employed.

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