How the National Service Scheme is Failing GHANA!

ghana_national_service_scheme_gnssThere won’t be any fancy intro…no word-plays or puns. I’ll jump straight to the point;
The National Service Scheme is a big mess and a major failure to Ghana.

It baffles me how little Ghanaians in power care about Ghana. They spew such hypocritical nonsense about how they are trying their best to make situations better but we know they are just yanking our chains. From Ministers to Presidents, no one truly cares about Ghana anymore.

We are down, they keep kicking us but we are just too numb to even care.

Give greedy people power they’ve always wanted for eons and what you get is the Ghanaian Government (Past and Present). We get heavier in the mud whiles they get richer and fatter in their penthouse suites.

There’s mismanagement (ECG, Doctors and Cedi) in every facet of the Ghanaian Government but my area of concern for this post is the mismanagement of the National Service Scheme.

“How is the National Service Scheme mismanaged?” you say!
The recent scandals speak volumes. Go here, here and here.

The potential of the National Service Scheme is particularly outstanding, but the people at the top only want more money and further gain perfection in the art of Nepotism.

Each year the Ghanaian Government has over 70000 able-bodied people at its disposal through the National Service Scheme. These people have atop their generic skillset, specialized skills they’ll “use” later on in life. So, why is this goldmine of resources wasted every single year by the government.

Instead of a more targeted approach at posting National Service personnel, the Government covers both eyes and let the stones fall where they may (albeit with some exceptions).
Students with nepotistical family members in the Government rest easy because, they know “fate” is on their side. The unfortunate ones on the other hand invariably get the short end of the stick.

That is basically the story of the NSS;
the “connected” get great placements whiles the linear…well…they get the hard life in villages that have virtually no cellphone reception.

That’s hardly fair!

The men and women who run government organizations do so as they see fit because they feel no real obligation or accountability to us Ghanaians. Well, truth be told, we don’t really expect much from them either…and thus, they don’t care to work more efficiently.

The Pressure no dey!

We’ve been fed up to the back teeth for so long we just don’t give a hoot no more.

It’s been said and it’s been proven that Ghanaian Government workers are lazy and show an extreme lack of initiative, and when they do, it is to fatten up their coffers.

The NSS under the “NSS Act” aims to compulsorily give students the opportunity to make/give meaningful contributions to the government, but at the end of their service, these students are left with an overwhelming sense of void since they give back nothing substantial to their country. All because of poor placements.

Goto the official NSS website and they throw such nice descriptions at you;
“…it has its origins in the desire and demands of Ghanaian Youth for early opportunities to participate in shaping the destiny of our country.”

Yet, year after year the impact of the NSS on the country is negligible at best.
If you take the time to research and examine the notable accomplishments of the vaunted National Service Scheme, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything actually noteworthy.

Talk indeed is cheap and in the end, these NSS personnel have been reduced to just sanitary workers (Go here and here).

With Great Power comes Little Responsibility (to Ghanaians).”

Dear Ghana Government, I don’t understand why my beloved, a petroleum engineer, should be posted to a rural area as a teacher, when her skill-set would be better utilized if she were posted to an industry where she can make actual contributions to the industry and the country as a whole.

If you do admit we are all made for different professions, why then do you tie our hands and push us into dark pits?

WHAT THEN ARE MY RECOMMENDATIONS?

Sorry, RECOMMENDATION; I will give only one area a more targeted approach in deploying personnel will see great results, and if the government likes the idea, they can think of many more…because in the end, they don’t pay me.

MY RECOMMENDATION:
Government can re-purpose old facilities and outfit them with hundreds/thousands of desktop computers.
Conversely, they can dip a hand into an unknown fund and put up such a structure.
We know they can.

The configuration will be nothing fancy; Pentium 4 processors, 1gb of RAM and 80gb HDD.
To reduce the load on these computers, only one suite of application will be installed on them: Microsoft Office.

At these facilities spread across major cities in Ghana, shortlisted people on the National Service Scheme will be given the seemingly simple task of typing out records kept by all relevant Government agencies.
Since the possibility of encountering confidential information is relatively high, anyone who is even remotely involved will be given Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) to sign.
If severely confidential information must be typed out, it can be assigned to carefully selected and screened individuals.
That way, they can effectively muzzle any Anas Aremeyaw Anas wannabees in the facility.

At periodic intervals, the typed info (digital copy) will be collected by the relevant Government Agencies and then backed up online.

Even with the mind-boggling advancements in the technological sphere, it just beats my mind how Government agencies in Ghana still rely on “Pen&Paper”.
Mountains of handwritten records plague every part of Government.
How do they back up the information? Well, they don’t.
And when the fires come…and they always come, they lament on the wealth of information lost to the fires.

But why should that be?
As evidenced by the recent floods, it quite clear that Ghana does not plan for the worst-case-scenario.
We just go with the flow.

The sad part is, the big men all lay down plans that can actually work but when power corrupts them, everything is tossed into the bin until they need votes.

Ghana Government please save the trees…and at least pretend as though you give two hoots about the environment.
Also, you can use my simple but effective example as a template, then base future NSS postings on it, instead of your archaic system.

Cos, in the end, I believe this approach can give the NSS a fresh perspective on handling postings and a renewed interest from  those undertaking it or are yet to.

 

PS: I’d really like to believe the Government thought of something similar to what I am proposing but were just too lazy in its implementation.
(Pls don’t sue me!) 😀

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