Civic Education in the SANDF: briefing

Defence

15 April 2003
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Meeting report

QUESTIONS AND DISCUSIONS

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE
16 April 2003
CIVIC EDUCATION IN THE SANDF: BRIEFING

Chairperson:
Ms T Modise (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Memorandum on Human and Cultural Development (Appendix)

SUMMARY
The Committee was briefed by the Equal Opportunities Chief Directorate and the Amy Services on the progress of Civic Education in the SANDF. Many problems with the civic education programme were highlighted. There is no dedicated staff, there is a lack of institutionalization and a budget. In addition, there is no specific centre for training, no specialised instructors, no commitment and no measurables for performance.

MINUTES
Brigadier General Lizamore: Director Equal Opportunity, Development, Research and Evaluation, read his presentation on human and cultural development and civic education. (Please refer to attached document)

Discussion
General Mari: Director General, Human Resources, said that although 1,800 people had been trained in the Civic Education programme, they were not trained as trainers and since they have other commitments, they go back to their other activities. There is no dedicated staff, which is an additional problem. Other problems, she said included lack of institutionalization and resources problems including the lack of a budget. She said there is no specific centre for training, no specialized instructors, no commitment and no measurables for performance.

Another member of the delegation said the co-function of the Department was to cater for the health of the military personnel and their families and to train members of the military to be combat ready. If civic education was part of this and the focus was on HIV/AIDS only, then they would seem busy.

A Member was concerned with the quality of the training and said the Department's response had not been adequate.

Adv Schmidt (DA) asked what the duration of the basic course was. He also asked if exams were administered and a certification provided and whether passing the exam was a pre-requisite to promotion. If this was not the case, it was a waste of time. He asked how performance was measured if there were no measurables. He pointed out that there was need for an indication of commitment. If there was commitment, then there should be a budget whose rand value would signal the level of commitment since funding is part of a commitment.

Prof Fourie replied that they knew the number of trained personnel but not the impact of the programme. They therefore wanted to research and assess this impact. The lack of budget meant they could not visit units to assess how the programme had affected the mind of the people.

A member of the board said the effect analysis of the impact of civic education in DOD this will give them direction. On time allocation, he said that these were ad hoc programs; there was no dedicated time, no certification, and no pre-requisites.

A member of the army services said that 50 periods were allocated per chapter at basic levels and then these allocations would vary with stages. He said that there was no linkage with promotions. Civic education was not a singular effort but part of other courses. He said that he was not sure if the issue of budget and time allocation had taken root in the DOD.

Mr G Oosthuizen (ANC) asked whether the study proposed would be scientific.

Professor Fourie explained that the results from the Centre for Military Studies would be scientific. There was a budget for the study, psychologists and sociologists would design questionnaires and comparisons would be made with global figures. The budget would enable them to visit units to find disciplinary problems and their causes. Germany had a similar centre to the one being proposed for South Africa where trainers are trained. There is continued modernizing through contacts with units within and outside German to make it better and valuable.

General Mari said that they could not use the 1,800 personnel trained because they were just empowered to understand the problem. There was a need for specialized training.

A member of the Navy delegation said it seemed that there was a feeling that the civic education issue was being handled in a haphazard manner. With the Navy, there were exams administered and one has to pass. The exam included papers and exercises and there was quantitative and qualitative data. The question was whether the programme was working, hence the need for research.

An Army member said that the basic course included papers and exercises on law of armed conflict.

The Chairperson asked if taking the exam was compulsory.

The delegate from the Army replied that exams were compulsory and that failing the exam can affect your promotion.

Adv Schmidt said that it does not help to allocate 95% of lecture time to one subject, 2% to civic education and 3% to other subjects. He asked the time value that was attached to civic education and the approach.

The Chairperson asked if the law of armed conflict is a small part of the programme. She asked for proof that the entire program was being taken seriously.

A member of the Army delegation replied that the Army had a budget of R200 million including civic education and that over 1000 personnel had been trained between January and April 2003.

Another member of the delegation said that for better and well co-coordinated results the institution would provide the needed quality, focus and services.

General Mari said that the board had given an honest report which included their strengths and weaknesses. She said that their presentation had, however, emphasized their weaknesses and that more could still be done if the recommendations in the report were taken up. In the case of a dedicated directory, the lack of institutionalization made it difficult to measure performance without the deliverables. She was amazed that this was their first reporting session to the Committee. She questioned why the Committee had not requested such reports before.

The Chairperson reminded General Mari that the board was not there to question the Committee but rather to answer the questions and concerns raised by the Committee. The Committee had been requesting reports in the past and got stories each time. She asked presenters and delegates to be truthful. It is not the Committee's work to run the DOD but rather to monitor DOD. There were differences in the answers from the delegation; she thought the presenters were taking the Committee for a ride and asked them to tell the truth.

Adv Schmidt said that it was a fact that there was no dedicated budget. His calculations showed that there was R4000 per year allocated and with such a budget, it would take eight to nine years to complete. Objective figures showed that the programme was not working. He asked presenters to give more factual background and progress.

A Member said that conceptualisation was a major issue. However, this did not answer the question of the paradigm shift. Civic education needed to develop a new soldier who understood the new vision including international law. Such a soldier needed to understand the nation he was defending. The Committee needed to seriously think about the question that the commander-in-chief had asked the day before. The Commander had said that non-racialism was the answer and that there was need for a penalty for people who did not comply.

The Member noted that while the report had said a great deal about Nazi German, it does not answer the question of civic education. He asked the Committee to explain why, if they were committed to Africa, they were focusing on Europe. Countries in Latin America, Asia as well as China and Cuba had particular experiences; why was Nazi German chosen as a model? He also asked the board to explain the criteria used for training selection and the extent of performance measures. He asked what was being learnt from indigenous armies.

Dr Silia said that there was a division of responsibilities and that the responsibility for the board was to monitor and advise the Minister and report to him. He said he once resigned from the committee due to frustration. He explained that the committee was a working group. The board tries to engage the DOD and then reports to the committee. In Germany the concept of leadership and command was based on trust of the commanders and civic education was a command philosophy. The law of armed conflict was not a stand alone concept. So far there was no real ownership or direction which the board wanted to see but it was up to DOD to decide the future options. Germans take the concept of leader to look at motivation and discipline. In South Africa there was a need to find means to do service mechanics. The board was facing problems and needed money to analyze and monitor. The DOD and the Minister ought to decide where to go with civic education.

A Member asked what had happened to the ideals and concerns of 1993. After nine years the Generals were in their same positions. He asked what had happened to the desired transformation of the army.

The Chairperson replied that they needed to put this question to the Minister. People were focusing on the international law of armed conflict but there needed to be focus on all issues. She asked the board to explain why the Cultural Diversity programme was being overseen by the Equal Opportunities directorate.

Brigadier General Lizamore said by 14th August, 2001 it had become obvious that the issue of equal opportunities duplicated issues of gender, racism and so forth and members of the board, some of whom were Members of Parliament, decided to change cultural diversity to fall under equal opportunities. He had indicated to the Secretary of Defence that there was no direction, responsibility and resources. The board then volunteered to give a ministerial directive and a DOD instruction, both of which were accepted. There was capacity and budget to establish a centre for policy, research, development and evaluation. It was now observed that the equal opportunities program was eliciting feelings of anger and young personnel who were not part of the past regime were demoralized. Seminars, focus groups and research surveys revealed the following negative outcomes; polarization of race groups, demoralisation of young white personnel, unresolved feelings of anger and complaints from facilitators on contents of the program as well as the way in which other facilitators presented it. He cited the example of Saldanha where there were so many problems that social workers had to be called to pacify the students.

Brigadier General Lizamore said that research indicates that focus was needed on shared values and ethics to enhance a new culture in DOD. After two years of research and a study tour to the UK, a draft policy document had been completed and the curriculum was designed to reflect values of patriotism, professionalism, human dignity, integrity, leadership, loyalty and accountability.

Mr Oosthuizen said there was no way they could move forward if they shied away from cultural diversity. There was a need to identify the core problems and deal with them rather than avoid them.

Mr Mthethwa said they could not achieve ideals without dealing with non-racialism. He said the country has a history of racism which had to be dealt with.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix:
MEMORANDUM

HUMAN AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS CULTURAL DIVERSITY, CHAPTER 5 IN THE CIVIC EDUCATION MANUAL)

INTRODUCTION

By August 2001, it became apparent that the Cultural Diversity programme that was carried out by Chief Joint Training, duplicated some EO and AA issues. After some discussion at the then CEMAC, the Secretary for Defence made the decision to transfer the responsibility of this programme to the EOCD dd 26 November
2001

2. Brig Gen John Lizamore, the delegate of the EOCD, then departed to write a Ministerial Directive, to direct responsible authorities to execute the Civic Education Programme and drafted a Dept of Defence Instruction, that was subsequently workshopped, to instruct the DOD to execute this programme.

3. During September of 2002 DIMS, the EOCD and CJTrg workshopped the responsibilities and structural arrangements in the EOCD taking over the Cultural Diversity programme. It was established that the EOCD will be responsible for the policy and other directing prescripts on the facilitation of Cultural Diversity, this included the maintenance of the learning content.

INPUT FOR THE CEEB ANNUAL REPORT

4. The CEEAB (formerly the CEMAC) dd 20 September 2002 and Cultural Diversity issues discussed have reference.

5. The following negative factors re the content and conduct of the Cultural Diversity programme were found by means of focus groups- and survey research as well as during seminars:

a. Polarization of race groups resulted.

b. Young white personnel members of groups studied were demoralised by the Cultural Diversity training.

c. Fragmentation on courses instead of fostering esprit de corps (At a seminar of C Navy on Racism, it was mentioned for instance that the Cultural Diversity programme created so many problems at Saldanha that social workers had to be called in to pacify the students).

c. During EO awareness seminars complaints were received that the Cultural Diversity programme elicited feelings of anger and that those feelings are not worked through and resolved by the Cultural Diversity facilitators. The results were that of feelings of anger and resentment spilt over into the workplace and created tension between the different racial groups.

d. Cultural Diversity facilitators themselves complained about the content of the programme as well as the way in which some facilitators presented the programme.

6. The following was suggested to the CEEAB

a. That notice must be taken of the fact that the content of Chapter 5 was no longer applicable (7-8 years down the line) and need to be replaced by EO and AA issues as are currently defined in the revised EO and AA Policy (DODI 1/98, Edition 2). This info needs to be made available by means of developmental interventions in the DOD.

b. That research indicated that the accent and focus need to be placed on a Shared Value system and Ethics in order to enhance and embrace a new culture for the DOD based on those shared values and ethics.

c. That the EOCD takes charge of Cultural Diversity and incorporate the philosophy of diversity within the EO and AA policy and programmes.

PROGRESS SO FAR

7. After some research of two years and a visit to the United Kingdom to benchmark our findings with that of the Ministry of Defence. A draft policy was completed on Departmental Values that have been identified as a sub-driver of the strategic issue 'Low Morale and loss of Expertise". This will serve as a platform for the creation of an effective corporate culture and currently the awareness programme and curriculum is being aligned specifically to accommodate and reflect the following values:

a. Patriotism,
b. Professionalism,
c. Human dignity,
d. Integrity,
e. Leadership,
f. Loyalty, and
g. Accountability.

CONCLUSION

8. The EOCD will continue to attend the CEEAB on invitation and provide value-added inputs. Brig Gen John Lizamore is and was the representative of the EOCD at the CEEAB and will continue to do so on your behalf.

SIGNED
John Lizamore
Director EO Development & Evaluation: Brig Gen

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