Commission invests in staff
WE all have dreams but to make those dreams become reality we have to be determined, committed and preserver no matter what obstacle befalls us to achieve our goal.
That was the mindset of Koya Leslie that led her to attain her Bachelor of Management degree at the 38th Divine Word University graduation in Madang on March 15 this year.
Koya’s journey towards attaining her degree is one that portrays persistence, hard work and sometimes having a no-nonsense attitude.
“I used to undermine myself about attending a tertiary institution. I am in my late 40s and I thought going back to school would be a huge challenge, because you have to be alert to pick up information during lectures. But I thank God that he has always been there for me,” she said.
Koya is employed with the Public Services Commission (PSC) as principal review officer with the Provincial Review Division. Her employment with PSC started in the year 2001, not as a review officer but as a personal assistant to Commissioner Provincial.
She left her home in Samberigi of Erave district, Southern Highlands armed with her Grade 10 certificate and moved to Port Moresby to enrol herself into a secretarial school to train to become a typist. After attaining her certificate, she flew back to Southern Highlands and found several employment opportunities, but after working for a little over four years there, she decided to return to the busy streets of Port Moresby.
In the year 2000, Koya applied for two personal assistant (PA) positions that were advertised by the PSC. She was successful and was appointed as the PA to Commissioner Provincial. However, Koya’s journey did not stop there, because she had dreams that she wanted to fulfil. After working as a PA for eight years and learning on the job itself, she went onto apply for the senior review officer’s position and was successful.
At that point, Koya decided it was time to return to school and upgrade her Grade 10 certificate. In 2009 with the financial support from PSC, Koya took up Diploma in Human Resource studies at the Divine Word University (DWU) Flexible Learning Centre. After attaining her Diploma and working for a further two years (which is the requirement for training in the National Public Service) and again with the financial support of PSC Koya returned to DWU and successfully completed the Bachelor in Management programme in 2019.
“I was faced with so many challenges when I decided to go back for further studies, and I would not have accomplished all of that without the guidance from the Almighty God above, he made a way for me. I doubted myself and never thought I would have accomplished all that I have with just my Grade 10 certificate,” Koya said.
Another senior PSC officer who graduated with Koya at DWU is the director of the National Review Division Joshua Ngawi who also hails from Samberigi in Southern Highlands. He graduated with a Masters in Public Administration and plans to change the way things are done within his division by increasing productivity levels and one way he is doing that is numbering tasks to be completed within a given timeframe.
“Understanding your job, the position itself and the role of the commission with its challenges, will make you want to perform better, which is why I chose to go for post-graduate studies to help me perform effectively,” said Ngawi.
The Commission apart from sending officers for studies also help them to attend short courses and other programmes. In 2019, four senior officers attended the nine-month Future Leaders Programme (FLP) facilitated by the University of Queensland (UQ) in conjunction with the University of Papua New Guinea School of Business and Public Policy, Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILAG) and the Department of Personnel Management (DPM).
Officers who attended included Principal Investigator Vali Vanua, Principal Assessment Officer Timothy Waringe, Principal Review Officer Steven Haibaku and Principal Media and Publication Officer Dorah Gawi. They were joined by other senior officers from various sectors of the national public service, both from the provinces and NCD and were broken up into three cohorts made up of 25 individuals.
The FLP is designed to comprehensively address the needs of future leaders, more specifically those officers who are at the cusp of taking on senior roles in the public service, taking into consideration current capacity gaps, succession planning and future implications of an aging workforce.
The programme offers a combination of skills-based training, peer- to-peer learning, participatory exercises, class discussions, academic coursework and workplace application project (WAP).
Also in June, 2019 three officers from PSC attended a week’s NEC submission writing training that was also facilitated by the University of Queensland in conjunction with the University of PNG, PILAG and DPM. The training was attended by Principal Assessment Officer Victor Lismond, Senior Human Resource Officer Douglas Formai and Principal Media and Publication Officer Dorah Gawi and was focused on helping officers and their organisations and agencies write proper NEC submissions that are in accordance with the required format and must be precise, capturing all relevant information and thus maintaining the high standards expected by the NEC.
The PSC also carries out its own in-house training usually facilitated by various senior officers of the PSC Secretariat. One such training was the Use of Digital Recorders for Personal Assistants in the PSC Secretariat that was facilitated by the Media and Publication Branch.
This training was offered for PAs due to the change from the Commission’s directional hearings to oral hearings, which required PAs to record audio during the hearings to transcribe.
The PSC has been investing in up-skilling and enhancing the competencies of its human resources in the last five years. This goal is outlined in the commission’s 2019-2023 corporate plan which is to provide relevant training for the staff of the PSC Secretariat.
PSC’s manager for Human Resource Management Mary Solomon said the commission has been sending its staff for further studies to expand their knowledge learn new skills and enhance competencies in their areas of responsibility. She further added that the commission aimed is to up-skill officers to help them in performing their duties more effectively and efficiently and to also give officers the opportunity to grow into managerial roles in the commission.
- Story and pictures supplied by PSC media and publications branch
Well-deserved medal for Dennis
RETIRED teacher Peter Dennis prides himself in laying an educational foundation for one of the country’s most successful provincial governors.
Dennis had taught the future politician at his Irelya Village, Wabag, Enga, in the early days of his long teaching career.
The man from Takepa Tumas Village in Wapenamanda district retired from teaching this year. His first teaching posting was after college in 1967.
For his long service to Enga and the country, Dennis was awarded the Member of Logohu award at Yaibos Community School on Independence Day this year.
Dennis who had the PNG Teaching Services Commission file number 00009504, had committed his life educating and mentoring just like his own foreign missionary teachers had done for him previously.
“During my time of service to the communities, I have ultimately committed and contributed a lot to the education sector of the great country of mine. Some of the students I have taught are now playing vital roles in the development of this great nation.
“One of them is current Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas, whom I taught in 1967 at Irelya Community School, Wabag,” Dennis said.
“I was endorsed by the Bishop of Guitnius Lutheran Church Rev David Piso in recognition for my faithful and long service in the teaching profession.”
Dennis was born on Jan 1, 1932 at Takepa Tumas into the Sau Clan of Lungipini Tribe in Wapenamanda. He was one of two boys among five children but his four siblings have all passed on.
Coming out of his local community school at Yaibos, he attended St Paul’s Lutheran School at Pausa from 1957 to 1964. He spent the next two years at Balob Teachers College in Lae, Morobe and obtained his primary teaching certificate. In his first fears of teaching, he was at Irelya in Wabag where he taught Ipatas and his peers.
After independence the Government required some public servants who had not completed formal secondary education to return to school and Dennis was among those who did years nine and ten from 1978 to 1980 through the College of External Studies
Years later, in 2007, Dennis attended the PNG Education Institute (Port Moresby Inservice College then) to complete a diploma in primary education.
As far as family goes, his first wife him no child so he married a second wife, Margaret who bore him four boys and two girls.
Dennis is now in contented retirement after faithfully doing his bit for the country.
- Story and pictures by Wilbur Katato