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Opinions of Friday, 19 December 2014

Columnist: Alhassan, Abdul Latif

NSS, Be Fair to Polytechnic National Service Personnel

An article by:
Abdul Latif Alhassan,
becash07@gmail.com/becash8559@yahoo.com,
0247011871/0203171028.


We will all testify to the fact that every public officer in Ghana has gone through class room education, at least the basic school level or junior high school. With this testimony, then every officer knows what it takes to go through formal education in Ghana. Every officer who makes public policies in Ghana knows that he never found it easy being at where he is. He knows that it took him years of toil, hard work and hunger to become who he is. He knows that it took him years of sleepless days to be at where he is.
In fact is never easy to be a graduate in Ghana. You have to go through hell, eat whatever you get, study whatever is at your disposal, sleeping in lecture theatres at the expense of your fully furnished room and pay millions of Ghana Cedis as school fees. What then happens to a graduate who is frustrated in his quest to render service to the nation?
This is the predicament of 2014-2015 group of High National Diploma (HND) polytechnic Graduates National Service Personnel whose September allowance have been withheld for no offence they caused. Mean while on the appointment letter of the 2014-2015 service year, item fourteen inscribed “the Governing Board of Nation Service Scheme wishes to inform all user agencies that due to the sit down strike embarked by polytechnic Lecturers, all polytechnic graduates would be required to return to their various schools to write their final examinations. The period of release would count in lieu annual mandatory leave period of August. Accordingly, all polytechnic graduates are required to remain at post during the leave period….. Was it their making not to be at post on August? Was it their making that their Lecturers embarked on the strike? Is it stated in the appointment letter that polytechnic students did not merit September allowance? Is it that their colleague personnel on leave in August will not take August allowance? And is the leave period in August no more going to count for the September release? The appointment letter also stated “…….user agencies would be required to release all nation personnel in this category for the period of the examination”. It means the service personnel were at post but, were to be released for their examination. Where then is the basis of the argument that they did not work for September allowance. There were a number of polytechnic graduates who spent nights at the registration centres, went through hell to do early registration, just to catch up the September allowance, only for their effort to be in vain?
Notwithstanding the Governing Board of National Service Scheme directive to release polytechnic graduates in September, in September, some polytechnic service personnel were busily working like ants at their various places of posting. There was one guy at my place of posting who used to come to work with his handout. This guy was working whiles flipping through his handout. Will National Service Scheme be fair if they deny such a person his September allowance?
National Service Scheme should know that for most of the service personnel, national service is a transitional period from class room to the work environment. In periods like that, care should be taken not to torment or frustrate a person’s life, because most of the service personnel depend on the monthly allowance for survival.
With this development, our friends polytechnic graduates feel they have been neglected and disregarded by National Service Scheme in the sense that, the initial agreement to pay them September allowance is not fulfilled.
They elders say; the cooking pot of the chameleon is the cooking pot of the lizard hence, I call on National Service Scheme to pay our colleagues their September allowance. Even if National Service Scheme is on Process to pay such allowances, then they should fast track events. NSS: Service to the Nation.
Thank you.