The National Service Scheme (NSS) has announced the postings of 34,500 personnel for the 2008-2009 service year.
The figure represents an increase of 2,020 from the 2007-2008 national service year.
At a news conference to announce the release of postings, Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Mr Kofi Obiri Yeboah, expressed concern about the attitude of institutions that conducted aptitude tests for would-be service personnel on the campuses of tertiary institutions with the aim of recruiting brilliant students for their institutions for national service.
Such a practice, he said, was against the mode of operations of the service secretariat, since it was the mandate of the secretariat to recruit people for national service.
He, therefore, asked such institutions to desist from the practice because “having a first-class does not mean that you can perform on the job”.
Mr Yeboah said the secretariat had allowed the practice for sometime because some institutions, especially the financial ones, gathered background information about personnel posted to their outfits.
“By Act 426, no institution or organisation has the right to go round the universities and polytechnics to recruit would-be service personnel. It is only the National Service Scheme that has the mandate to do that,” he pointed out.
He gave the regional breakdown of the 2008-2009 service year as Greater Accra, 10,988; Ashanti, 5,640; Eastern, 2,871; Western, 2,690; Brong Ahafo, 2,667; Central, 2,080; Northern, 1,871; Volta, 1,571; Upper West, 710 and Upper East, 698.
In pursuant of the government's policy of providing quality education, he said, 60-70 per cent of the personnel had been posted to the education sector to meet the shortfall in the posting of teachers to the rural areas.
Mr Yeboah said although the postings had been released, service persons could access their postings from October 8, 2008, from the secretariat website of www.nssghana.org http://www.nssghana.org .
“Since its inception, the scheme has been contributing to the socio-economic development of the country. Service personnel are posted to places where their services are needed,” he stated, and reminded service persons that national service was “a call to national duty and postings must be accepted in good faith”.
The NSS was established in 1973 by NRC Decree with 1,500 service persons. In 1980, the Buah Committee came out with a proposal that saw the enactment of the scheme by Act 426.
The rationale behind the establishment of the scheme was to cater for the shortfall of manpower in the country, especially in the rural areas.
Story by Emmanuel Bonney