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Bawumia Speaks: National Service Will No Longer be Mandatory Under My Regime

National Service will no longer be mandatory and students will have the option to decide whether to do national service or not.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says he will scrap national service for all Ghanaians if elected President during the December polls.

National Service is mandatory as every graduate is obliged to serve the nation for 2 years and during national service, the individual is posted to any Region to undertake his or her service.

Dr. Bawumia, providing his bold solutions to fix Ghana, noted during his address today at UPSA-Ghana, that his government will make national service a choice for every student.

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“National Service will no longer be mandatory and students will have the option to decide whether to do national service or not. This will also encourage companies to go to the campuses to recruit annually”, he emphasized.

This, he believes, is one of the key tools to accelerate the development of Ghana.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia outlined his vision for the nation under the theme “Ghana’s Next Chapter: Selfless Leadership and Bold Solutions for the Future” and called on Ghanaians to vote for him to become the next President.

Brief History of National Service in Ghana.

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The National Service Scheme (NSS) in Ghana has its origins in the aftermath of the country’s independence in 1957. The scheme was established to address various socio-economic needs, including youth unemployment, nation-building, and skills development. Here’s a brief overview of the history of national service in Ghana:

1960s – Early Initiatives: The concept of national service was first introduced in Ghana during the 1960s. It emerged as a response to the need for manpower to support the country’s development efforts. Initially, national service was voluntary and primarily focused on recruiting graduates to serve in various sectors such as education, health, agriculture, and rural development.

1973 – Formal Establishment of NSS: The National Service Scheme was formally established by the National Service Act (Act 426) of 1973. This legislation mandated the compulsory national service for all Ghanaian citizens who had completed tertiary education. The NSS aimed to harness the skills and talents of young graduates to contribute to national development while providing them with practical work experience.

Implementation and Expansion: The NSS began its operations in 1974, with the first batch of national service personnel deployed to various public and private sector organizations across the country. Over the years, the scheme has expanded its scope to include a wide range of sectors, including education, healthcare, agriculture, public administration, and technology.

Duration and Structure: Initially, the duration of national service was set at one year. However, in 2014, the government extended the service period to two years to provide national service personnel with more substantial work experience and skills development opportunities. The NSS is structured to include orientation, deployment, and service periods, during which personnel are assigned to specific organizations or projects.

Objectives and Benefits: The NSS aims to achieve several objectives, including:

Facilitating the transition of graduates from academia to the world of work.
Providing practical work experience and skills development opportunities.
Promoting national unity, cohesion, and patriotism among young people.
Supporting socio-economic development through the contribution of service personnel to various sectors.
Participants in the NSS receive monthly allowances and other benefits, such as professional development training and certification.

Evolution and Challenges: Over the years, the NSS has evolved in response to changing socio-economic conditions and government priorities. However, the scheme has also faced various challenges, including issues related to deployment, supervision, infrastructure, and the quality of service placements. Efforts have been made to address these challenges through policy reforms, stakeholder engagement, and capacity-building initiatives.

In summary, the National Service Scheme in Ghana has a rich history dating back to the 1960s, with its formal establishment in 1973. It plays a crucial role in youth development, skills enhancement, and nation-building, although it also encounters challenges that require continuous attention and improvement.

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