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National Service Is The Best Platform To Feel The World Outside The Classroom

Kwame Sherrif Awiagah, The Author

The poor National Service Secretariat management and the “felt and/ or perceived corruption coupled with favoritism” at the various directorates have earned the service a new name National Suffering.

Beyond that National Service offers us the best opportunity to have a practical field of the world and the job market. It moves us away from the theories of education to the stage where theory must be blended with practice; we are moved from our comfort zone to other people’s comfort zone.

Here we are thought by default how to adapt to the changes of living

and haven to practice the culture of other people. We are also presented with the opportunity to introduce our culture and knowledge to the people we found ourselves with. In short it is practical lesson of promoting sociocultural harmony among Ghanaians of all walks of life.

National Service also provides us with the opportunity to practice (on the job) directly with minimum supervision theoretical knowledge acquired from the classroom so that by the end of the mandatory one year period, serious and ready to learn graduates will have imbibed in them some practical knowledge, soft and people skills.

I take myself as an example; I was fortunate to have worked in both private and government facilities during my one year mandatory service.

As a nurse I was lucky to have been placed under supervision of one hilarious confidence builder whom I called Uncle. He gave me the confidence and the proportionate opportunity to be directly supervised by his very self. He pampered me with words like, Kwame you are hardworking; keep it up and am not going to allow you off my hook and indeed during the six months of my service in the facility I’ve always run the same duty schedule with him.

There was another gentleman who inspired me I called him Boss, he counseled me on the need to work and acquire the requisite skills whiles still been supervised because a good clinical practitioner is judged by his clinical skills which can only be acquired during clinical practice.

I didn’t only narrow myself to the clinical work; I also studied how the administration was running smoothly without haven to intimidate the employees. I’ve learnt to appreciate how people dream big and win big. I have also realized that investing in administrative buildings to the detriment of production point is a disaster to financial engineering (pardon my terminologies) and that customer satisfaction is key to investment.

I had also learnt and compared what differentiate the government facilities from the private ones. The skills I had acquired, secured me a job under the private sector even a month to the end of my national service.

Why this long talk?
I’ve realized that most of our graduates are posted to places completely unrelated to their programs of study, at some and especially the MMDAs they are posted to watch the clock tick just to return home. I won’t be amused if Service personnel fail to point out some specific task or reformative process they have achieved over the one year that has a chance to impact their lives effectively.

Even more recently, I chanced on a letter in which a service personal posted to serve under a department was rejected with reasons that his course of study was not related to the department. At passport office, 500 personnel were posted for NSS but the entire of ministry of finance had requested for 200 personnel, so one will ask should this people be received at the passport office how many could be mentored .

Judging from the relevance of the program, a very effective and efficient method should be developed to ensure that, graduates with well-defined programs could be posted to where they belong; example graduate teachers from UEW/UCC/UDS etc. should be posted to the educational units including the universities.

Those classified as humanities should be posted accordingly, example arrangements could be made with Think Tanks, NGOs and volunteering groups including foreign agencies to receive them for the purposes of nurturing and mentoring. They could be good asset to data collations relevant to these sectors and the country as a whole.

They could also be trained to man our ambulance services and be attached to successful entrepreneurs. Where private individuals cannot absorb the cost of allowances, government should take up the responsibility. The goal is to develop emerging leaders through the scheme. An effective National service scheme can drastically reduce over dependence on government for employment.

Citizen not a Spectator
Awiagah Sherrif Kwame
0543896253/awiagahsherrif@yahoo.com

About Kwame Sherrif Awiagah

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