Teaching and Learning a Passion for School of Management, IT and Governance Academic
Giving up a career in local government for academia was not an easy choice for Public Governance Development Lecturer and PhD candidate, Ms Ntokozo Makoba. However, her ambition to contribute to shaping future leaders through education has convinced her it was the right one.
Before assuming this position, Makoba was employed as a Deputy Director in Efficiency Services at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development where she was responsible for various functions including organisational development, job evaluation, business process redesign, implementation of Batho Pele and management of the section.
She aims to use her vast practical experience in provincial governance to ensure her students understand the link between theory learned in class and the working world.
‘Despite the challenges and the obvious financial transition, I enjoy academia and look forward to adding value to it. I am hoping to get onto a programme that will see students involved in public service in their final year and also creating a platform where professionals in the field can interact with students. The need to do that came out very clearly recently in a session I had arranged where the Director in Change Management at DSPA addressed students on change management. It was a dynamic session and I am hoping to be able to build on it and to explore the possibilities,’ said Makoba.
Apart from teaching Organisational Change and Leadership to third year students, Makoba also has to swap roles between being teacher and a student. Her research involves looking into if and how indigenous values are integrated into government policies and how these lead to sustainable livelihoods.
‘I feel the study will contribute tremendously in understanding what could be done to create a balance between indigenous knowledge and values and the requirements entrenched in the Constitution. There is already a great willingness from amakhosi in the Umgungundlovu Local House of Traditional Leader to participate in the study. The study will use, among other tools, Action Research and I am sure that that will see me doing community work in the Umgungundlovu area and I am looking forward to that,’ said Makoba.
As a PhD candidate and academic, Makoba is grateful for the guidance and leadership of Dr Fayth Ruffin, who also supervised her Masters in Administration which she graduated with last year.
‘I work with a team of passionate academics whose doors are always open and who humble me in their endeavour to assist with even menial tasks. I am also very blessed to work with women who I admire greatly and who I regard as great academics. They have also opened their hearts and are willing to give of their time to listen and to advise. I am indeed a student and appreciate the experience and the value this adds to my journey,’ said Makoba.