National Service Scheme Meaning

By | February 28, 2019

National Service Scheme Meaning, The National Service programme is designed to enable every Ghanaian, male or female to have an opportunity to deploy their energies by offering some service to organizations and communities in any part of the country. This is to help create a sense of national awareness, national consciousness, unity and cohesion among the country’s youth in one strategic stroke. The Scheme derives its mandate from Act 426 of 1980. The National Service Scheme (the Scheme) currently deploys Ghanaian graduates, who successfully complete tertiary education both home and abroad, on National Development programmes.

Over the years, the philosophy of the National Service Scheme seem to have been diluted, making mockery of the vision of the founders and making it look as if the Scheme is a big shade under which people will take rest while thinking of what to do next.

Some people even think that it is an extension of the political apparatus where they could exercise their pastime as party activists, collecting their allowances without rendering service to the people through whose toil the allowance is made available from government purse.

Stories abound of how the students’ wing of political parties have rioted because management of the Scheme did not pander to the whims and caprices of the young graduates by posting them to their preferred places to do national service.

Most of them complained that the Scheme had posted them to remote parts of the country, instead of allowing them to enjoy the spoils of victory in the general election by posting them to juicy places.

These are youthful members of the party who are aspiring to become future leaders who think certain parts of the country are too remote to deserve their skills and talents; people who, in the not-too-distant future, will mount platforms and tell Ghanaians to vote for them because they know their problems, care for them and are even prepared to die for them if only they (Ghanaians) will give them their votes.

What many of those who grumble do not know is that many years ago, between 1982 and 1984, many young men and, to a smaller extent, young women, broke their backs carrying cocoa which was getting rotten at the depots to the ports. Others turned themselves into human cranes to load cocoa onto ships at the Tema Port.

Those shouting youth should find out why national service became two years instead of a year and why even Sixth Formers joined the Scheme. It was to clear the backlog of students who piled up when the universities were closed down for one full academic year.

Those days, the students did not have the luxury to indulge in noise-making but went into the bush to replant burnt cocoa farms. Some of the students went chasing cocoa smugglers on dangerous grounds. Some lost limbs; some even paid the supreme price in the service of mother Ghana. Some could not make it back to their universities and other institutions.

The National Service concept was not mooted to give employment to young graduates in the banks, hotels and cozy offices in Accra, Kumasi and other urban centers. If somewhere along the line the concept was abused and prostituted, it was not because the managers were doing the right thing.

It is imperative that before young graduates blossom into mature officers, they should render service without calculating the returns. In that case, they will be in a better position to appreciate the real problems confronting this country. They will know the beauty of this country and its people. When the time comes for them to assume leadership roles, they will know that Accra is only a minute fraction of the land mass called Ghana.

Many of the shortfalls the country is experiencing in the educational and health sectors in particular, especially with regard to posting to the rural areas, could be effectively addressed if the NSS operated true to the philosophy behind it.

It is time the youth wings of all the political parties were made to appreciate the problems of this country. It is time they were made to understand that no part of this country is a wasteland. It is time we considered service in the rural areas as a prerequisite for appointment to national offices.

Many rural communities today are reaping the fruits of true national service, because young graduates accepted postings to those communities to share their skills and assimilate with the life and culture of the people. There is great honor and self-satisfaction in serving the people with devotion and commitment.

Changing the fortunes of a people whose situation looks hopeless is what true national service means. This is a challenge to the youth of this country. It is heartwarming to note that the managers of the NSS are doing the right things which will motivate the youth and challenge them to plunge into national service wholeheartedly.

All those who are serving the people of this country in the remotest parts, at the expense of their comfort, deserve commendation and encouragement. The state must exhibit appreciation which will send the signal that service to one’s nation will not be in