So, speaker after speaker provided inputs via PowerPoint presentations. It took hours; hours that were punctuated by tea and lunch breaks and two question and answer sessions. And the primary focus was district support as opposed to the new structure.
We go on a journey from the policy background, to demarcation, to district monitoring, human resourcing, support to districts, enhancing accountability and the district policy implementation. It is all very informative, even if nothing new, but the "meat" is missing. You see, everyone wants to know about issues like job descriptions, the definition of a circuit manager, a circuit team structure and standardization across provinces. We want to know more about professional services and administrative support, but the details remain sketchy.
In the early part of the day we are left with the distinct impression the Western Cape is "the model" of district support. By the end of the day we are not so self assured. In fact, the Western Cape sounds like a loose thread, out of sync with the rest of the provinces' understanding. So, we arrived uncertain and we leave the same way. Norms for staffing are not cemented yet, job descriptions must be inputed at ELRC level, and so on and so on.
Today simply realizes an old truth: change is a messy business, and no matter how we seek to create a clear path and remove the unpredictability thereof, it is not possible. And it cannot be rushed. And more information must flow and the communication channels remain open. As I have said before, people sit behind structures. And people are filled with emotion and respond emotionally to issues that affect their sense of security... It's never black-and-white. It's messy.
And I wonder what the clients, our learners, think of this restructuring which is meant to service them better. I swear if we dared to asked them what districts mean to them, the universal response will be: