Public officers upskilled in project management

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BY GEORGINA KEKEA

Public officers upskilled in project management

PROJECT management is an area that graduates lack despite graduating with various degrees or certificates from the different tertiary institutions.

Yesterday, 30 officers from the different Government ministries received their Certificate of Attendance from USP’s Pacific TAFE, Certificate IV in Project Management.

This course provides participants with a thorough understanding of how and why projects are managed including setting project goals, planning and scheduling, risks management, HR management including business case studies for projects amongst other topics.

Speaking to Island Sun, Dr David Mapuru of Pacific TAFE says the Project management course is mainly to build the capacities of government, private organisations and NGOs in how they manage projects.

Mr Mapuru says, they have realised that project management is an area which Solomon Islands needs because in the past projects funded for by government or aid donors were often incomplete.

“Sometimes a project was not completed successfully and sometimes a project is still to be completed but finances have already dried up so these are the areas affecting our human resources because they lack the skills and technical knowledge on project management.”

Mapuru says this is not our people’s fault but the University because they fail to better prepare students for the real thing.

“This is why Pacific TAFE came in to bridge this gap to upskill our workforce because it is important for our country.”

Mapuru says for Solomon Islands, Pacific TAFE is trying build skills base capacities mainly in community leadership, community development, ethics in public sector, good governance, project management, procurement and logistics management including events management and protocols.

“These are the areas which the university hadn’t tapped into but they are the practical skills needed in a workplace.”

Meanwhile, speaking to Island Sun, a number of the participants gave their commendation on the course and how it had been an eye opener for them. They say having gone through this course had enabled them to understand how projects work and the importance of planning, budgeting and having a business case to work from. The course participants say this course helps them to identify that in each planning in the work place, there should be a goal and how can they achieve this goal. At the same time, they recommend that senior government officers and directors should also attend this training.

“They are the ones involved in planning so if it is possible, they should be attending this training as well.”

At the same time Permanent Secretary (PS) of MDPAC, Shadrack Fanega says it is enlightening to see a number of public officers from the various ministries undertaking this course.

He revealed that in 2017 MDPAC had released two reports on project management and the findings of the reports had been mixed. He said limited progress had been made and progress had been unsatisfactory.

“Nonetheless there is gradual improvement with regards to people’s submissions to MDPAC.”

The project management training is seen as providing a step closer to achieving the vision of the government’s National Development Strategies (NDS) and the implementation of its strategies.

The course module was carried out by Roger Goodman of USP Pacific TAFE with the assistance of Steven Amasia from IPAM.

The course for the public servants is co-funded by SIG with funding support from the European Union (EU).

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