On Wednesday, February 2, 2021, the Local Government Service and the Institute of Local Government Studies jointly organized a ceremony at the Auditorium of the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) to officially launch the long awaiting Enhanced Scheme of Service Training (SoST) program for staff of the various job classes within the Local Government Service. Attendance to the program by the staff of the Service is deemed mandatory for progression from one grade to another within the Service. The training is structured to equip and sharpen the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes of staff for improved job performance and organizational effectiveness.
The ceremony was co-chaired by the Chairpersons of the Local Government Service and the Institute of Local Government Studies Councils; Dr. Wellington Essaw and Professor Kwasi Adarkwa respectively. Prof. Darkwa entreated Metropolitan, Municipal, Chief Executive (MMDCEs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Coordinating Directors (MMDCDs) in the various District Assemblies to encourage and support their staff to enroll in the training programme to facilitate their career progression in the Service.
The Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), Dr. Nicholas Awortwi, expressed appreciation to the leadership of the LGS for the laudable joint initiative. He said the programme when fully operational would ensure that the challenges of local level service delivery are brought to the classroom for analysis and the fashioning of plausible solutions for implementation. He disclosed that they are structured into four (4) key areas and these includes courses for leadership of the MMDAs (MMDCEs); professional staff; the political leadership at the community level (Assembly members); and Chiefs and Traditional Authorities.
The Head of Service, Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur commended the joint Councils of the LGS and ILGS for the commitment to strengthening the collaboration between the two institutions. He praised the efforts of their predecessors as experiences from their attempts in the past have provided the guiding light for the progress made so far.
Dr. Arthur indicated that the ever – increasing expectation and demand for the delivery of improved services by the citizenry confers on local government actors the responsibility to strengthen local governance structures, deploy time tested systems, procedures, and processes as well as the develop capacity to support improved service delivery at the sub-national levels. He was optimistic the successful implementation of the programme would significantly impact professionalism, productivity of staff, management performance in the discharge of the responsibilities of District Assemblies.
He called on the joint Councils of LGS and ILGS to pull their efforts together to secure sustained funding to ensure the continuousrolloutt of the programmes. He called on staff to take keen interest in the programme; and charged the Regional Coordinating Directors and District co-coordinating Directors to include the cost of attendance to the training by their in their annual budgets to ensure their staff attend the programme.
Hon. O. B. Amoah, a deputy minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development also commended the LGS and ILGS for the collaborative effort in the operationalization of the continuous professional development training programme for staff of LGS. He indicated that local government performance and improvement in service delivery, local economic transformation, and development could be institutionalized if professionalism of staff of the LGS is enhanced through the competency-based training.
To ensure efficient performance of the Institute, he disclosed that his Ministry has committed to retooling ILGS to lead the provision of structured training to all categories of local government functionaries and staff. He intimated that the completion of ongoing infrastructural expansion works at both Accra and Tamale Campuses of the Institute by his Ministry would facilitate the delivery of academic programs and other planned training within the local government sector.
The Registrar of the Institute, Mr. David Osei-Wusu gave an overview of the enhanced SoST programme. His presentation highlighted the structure of the courses and learning models, prospectus, beneficiaries as well as cost of enrollments and tuition. He indicated that the study programmes are in five (5) categories, targeting career beginners, middle-level professional, senior management staff and senior professional executives and are designed to ensure that staff are not only able to perform their current job effectively but also master new tasks and solve emerging problems as they assume higher responsibilities in the workplace.
The launch was attended by the Chief Directors and HR managers of the sixteen (16) Regional Co-ordinating Councils; Co-ordinating Directors and HR Managers of MMDA in the Greater Accra Region; Directors and senior officers at the OHLGS; Directors and staff of the ILGS; Representatives of the Development Partner Community; Representative of the Head of the Civil Service; and partners from the Media.