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Opinions of Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Columnist: Hadi Amadu

National service secretariat needs a logical restructuring of its posting system

Yes! We all agree that the one-year national service is mandatory in accordance with the provisions of Act 426. It is also a requirement for one to qualify as a public office holder in Ghana even though we still have other people serving in public offices without undertaking the obligatory national service.

One year is enough for the nation to benefit immeasurably from the enthusiastic and energetic graduates from the various universities and other institution.

But as a country,

Do we really make a productive use of these pools of human resource (service personnel)?

Do we even measure the level productivity at the end of their service?

Do we post personnel just because it is a mandatory service?

Do we really consider institutions or user agencies where service personnel can work effectively and efficiently?

I strongly disagree with the current criteria being employed or adopted for posting of service personnel, and so there is the need for us to take a second look at it and restructure it.

A situation where by graduates from the various universities and other auxiliary institutions are randomly posted to any sector of our economy is very wrong. We are just putting square pegs in round holes which cannot be perfectly fit.

This year, the national service scheme posted over 85,708 prospective service persons to user agencies across the country. All these personnel had their specialized fields of study in the institutions they attended, but they end up been posted to user agencies where their knowledge and skills cannot be applied, therefore making them redundant.

It can be seen that graduates from, let’s say university of education, Winneba, whose four years of study has been solely on; (for example geography education), is been posted to places such as hospital, chief palace, to direct traffic, planting for food and jobs, electricity company of Ghana, etc. but there are many service personnel who has acquired skills to effectively work under these user agencies stated above.

Classical example is, can we post service personnel nurses to go classrooms and teach? NO!

There are other personnel who did short (one year) courses in other auxiliary institutions but such person will be posted to teach in a secondary school, which is not proper.

In fact there are other interesting mismatch place of postings which may not be captured in this article. What productive work can these personnel do, considering the fact that every expert is good at his or her field of work? Yes we all acknowledge that places that service personnel is been posted is part of Ghana. But is that enough argument or justification for putting square pegs in round holes?

Many logical questions need to be ask about the whole “national service industry” and comprehensive answers must be given.

National service must be an opportunity for fresh graduate to practically exhibit their knowledge and skills acquired in schools and also to choose their career paths wisely.

Is it not proper for the scheme to restructure its posting methods to ensure productive utilization of service personnel by posting them to user agencies where personnel can practically apply their knowledge and skills acquired in school?