The Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Vincent Kuagbenu has revealed that graduates, this year, were deployed a month earlier to ensure they render a complete year of mandatory service to the nation.
Mr Kuagbenu made the statement when he announced the commencement of the 2012/13 Service Year in Accra Wednesday.
Below is the full statement from the NSS
ANNOUNCEMENT OF COMMENCEMENT OF NATIONAL SERVICE FOR THE 2012/2013 SERVICE YEAR AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE GHANA NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME, ACCRA ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
By THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (VINCENT SENAM KUAGBENU)
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, Directors and staff of the Ghana National Service Scheme, invited guest, ladies and gentlemen. I am privileged to on behalf of management welcome you to the occasion of the announcement of commencement of National Service for the 2012/13 Service Year. Today's event is an important one in the calendar of the National Service Scheme and I am delighted that you have honored our invitation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, you will notice that this year's deployment comes a month earlier than the previous ones. This is part of efforts to ensure that we fully meet our mandate that requires national service personnel to render one complete year of mandatory service to the nation.
It is also to ensure that personnel posted to teach in schools report early before the start of the academic year. The early deployment is also aimed at ensuring that user agencies derive maximum returns from the use of service personnel, while the personnel gain practical experience on the job.
Over the years, National Service Deployment is under-pinned by government policy. Consequently, all allied activities in connection with personnel deployment are in tandem with and geared towards the actualization of government policy.
MANDATE/FIELDS OF SERVICE
Deployment of personnel is informed by the mandate of the Scheme (Reference:National Service Act 426 (1980) which include the following:
1. To provide newly qualified graduates the opportunity to have practical exposure on the job both in the public and private sectors as part of their civic responsibility to the state, and also afford user agencies the opportunity to satisfy their manpower needs.
2. To afford communities that would otherwise have difficulty in accessingmainstream development initiatives, access to improved social services through community service.
In accordance with Section 3(1) of the national Service Act, Act 426,of 1980,service personnel are deployed in the following fields:
(e) Local Government
(g) Rural Development, includingsurveying, physicalplanning, civil engineering and rural industries,
(h) Youth programmes, or
(i) Any other fields that the Board may prescribe.
Permit me ladies and gentlemen to use this opportunity to give an overview of deployment for the just ended 2011-2012 service year.
OVERVIEW OF DEPLOYMENT FOR 2011-2012 SERVICE YEAR
A total of 67,313 National Service Personnel (NSP) comprising62,313 MandatoryNational Service and 5,000 National Voluntary Personnel were deployed to undertake their service for the 2011-2012 service year.
Sector Deployment for the 2011-2012 Service Year.
S/No. Sector No. of Personnel Percentage %
1 EDUCATION 38, 814
(NSPs-33,814+ NVPs-5,000) 58
2 HEALTH 6,720 10
3 LOCAL GOV'T & OTHER MDAs 16,066 24
4 PRIVATE 5,713 8
Total 67,313 100
For the year under review, the education sector received 58% of total deployment, Health 10%, 24% to Local government &MDAs, while 8% was deployed to support the private sector.
NATIONAL SERVICE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the service rendered by the personnel was not only limited to the areas they were deployed to, but extended to cover other key activities. The introduction of the agriculture projects by the Scheme provides opportunities for National service Personnel practical experience in agriculture. It is also aimed at filling the void that exists in our posting over the years to this critical sector. I am happy to report that more than twenty-two thousand (22,000) National Service Personnel and Volunteers actively participated in every activity on these farms.
National Service Personnel who worked in deprived areas were alsoengaged in extra-curricular activities such as HIV/AIDS campaign, blood donation and communal labor among others.
I want to use this opportunity to commend all service personnel who have sacrificed to render service in challenging environments all in our collective effort to build a Better Ghana. It is our hope that the training and experiences gained through selfless and dedicated service to mother Ghana willsharpen their orientation. It is also a clear demonstration of our collective belief that this country's development heavily depends on our committed Youth.
DEPLOYMENT PROCESS FOR THE 2012/2013 SERVICE YEAR
In consonance with Government policy on deployment, a series of activities were meticulously undertaken which culminated into the 2012-2013 deployment of personnel.
Activities undertaken were as follows:
(1) Request for final year /penultimate class list:
Section 9 of Act 426 states that:'Every institution where any persons who are receiving formal training and who have attained the age of eighteen years or more shall forward to the Board as soon as practicable but in any case not later than the end of its academic year, a list of all such persons'. Consequent to the above, in January 2012, management requested all accredited tertiary institutions to submit final year/pen ultimate class list for processing. All the fifty-seven (57) accredited public and private tertiary institutions responded. This was followed by the processing and issuance of pin codes.
(2) Pre Service (on campus) Orientation:
Between April and June 2012, the scheme embarked on a nationwide pre-service (on campus) orientation. The object of this interface was to prepare prospective service personnel adequately for their national service obligation. All 57 tertiary institutions with 78 campuses were covered during the exercise whiles an estimated number of 82 000 students benefited from the training programmes.
(3) Issuance of pin codes:
A total of 85,156 pin codes were issued to enable prospective national service personnel enroll online to undertake national service. Refer to appendix 'B' for details.
(4) Placement of advertisements in the media:
The scheme between April and May 2012 placed various adverts in the media for user agencies to send in their requests for service personnel. (Refer appendix (i).
As a response to the adverts placed in the media, a total request of 85,672 was received from 7,540 organizations and 19,501 Schools, Colleges and Universities.
(5) Collation of requests:
Between May 2012 and July 2012, the scheme collated a total request of 84,672 from 7,540 organizations and 19,501 Schools, Colleges and Universities.
2012-2013 NATIONAL SERVICE PERSONNEL DEPLOYMENT
By August 15,2012 when registration for the deployment of the first batch of applications came to an end, the following applicants with their skill areas were recorded:
(i)Health and Allied Sciences – 8,284; (ii) Engineering Sciences – 4,237;
(iii) Technical/vocational --1,941; (iv) Education -- 8,315;35,780;
(v) Agricultural Sciences --1,708; (vi) social Sc.& Arts -- 35,780;
(vii) Business Adm. ---7,221; (viii) Law --724, bringing the total applicants for the first batch to 68, 210.
Out of a total request of eighty-four thousand, six hundred and seventy-two (84, 672) received from seven thousand, five hundred and forty (7,540) Organizations, and nineteen thousand, five hundred and one (19,501) educational institutions, the Scheme deployed a total of 68, 210 personnel to undertake their National service for the 2012-2013 Service Year.
SECTOR DISTRIBUTION OF PERSONEL 2012-2013 SERVICE YEAR
SECTOR 2012-2013 PERCENTAGE
EDUCATION 46,896 69
HEALTH 8,249 12
LOCAL GOV'T &OTHER MDAs 8,004 12
PRIVATE 5,061 7
TOTAL 68,210 100
Refer to appendix 'A' for further details;
The Scheme this year has tracked the movement/placement of all categories of personnel that were advertized in the media for deployment. Find details on Appendix 'D'.
DEPLOYMENT OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ON NATIONAL SERVICE
In line with the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on May 9, 2011,between the NSS and the Ministry of Health and witnessed by all Health Regulatory Bodies; ie the Medical and Dental Council, the Pharmacy Council, the Nurses and Midwives Council, the Allied Health Taskforce and a representative of the Health Training Institutions, health professionals made up of 51 Doctors of Optometry; 251 Pharmacists; 403 Nurses and Midwives; 630 Laboratory Technicians and 15 Herbal Medical Officers are beingdeployed to221 Health Facilities countrywide. Management is awaiting inputs from the Medical and Dental Council to facilitate the deployment of the Medical and Dental Officers on the second batch of posting this year.
The 2,103Nurses and Midwives who commenced their National Service in June this year are currently serving in 166 Health Facilities and are expected to complete their mandatory service in May 2013.
Management wishes to commend the collaborating bodies particularly, the Nurses and Midwives Council, the Pharmacy Council and the Allied Health Taskforce for their support in ensuring the smooth implementation of the MoU.
VULNERABILITY ANALYSIS (Health Condition, Married, Study Leave)
The Scheme has been sensitive and proactive towards vulnerable groups such as married and lactating mothers, persons with health conditions, and those on study leave (those working and schooling). The total number of personnel in this category is 10, 345. The married women were posted to areas that will enable them combine matrimonial duties with service.
Those with Health conditions were deployed to places where they can access health care while those on study leave were posted back to their mother organizations (organizations that sponsored their education).
VULNERABILITY ANALYSIS CATEGORY NUMBER
HEALTH CONDITION 1738
STUDY LEAVE 6585
Find further details on Appendix 'E
Welfare Packages for National Service Personnel
In order to promote good health among National Service Personnel to engender enhanced performance, the National Service scheme, acting in concept with the National Health Insurance Authority will register all National Service Personnel to enable them benefit fully from the National Health Insurance programme.Prospective National Service personnel are therefore entreated to avail themselves of this unique opportunity by contacting either desk officers at various National Service registration centres for assistance.
Provision of accommodation for national service personnel has been a major challenge to management. In order that personnel settle down quickly on their jobs and to give off their best, it is imperative for all stakeholders i.e. user agencies, especially Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Heads of Schools and Departments receiving service personnel, Chiefs, Opinion Leaders etc. to assist patriotic service personnel with decent accommodation and other incentives to enable them offer unhindered and unimpeded service to their organizations and the state.
Prompt payment of Allowances
In the last two years personnel allowance has seen an increase from one hundred and forty Ghana Cedis (GHC 140.00) to two hundred and forty-two Ghana Cedis (GHC 242.00). Government has also ensured early payment of personnel allowances. While commending Government for the increase and the prompt payment of allowances, management wishes to assure in-coming service personnel continued efforts at ensuring the sustainability of improved service.
Initial transport claims of service personnel posted to Government Departments and state-own institutions from their hometowns (residents) to their service posts and back shall be paid by the NSS at existing government rates.
Similarly, initial transport claims of National Service Personnel posted to private and quasi-government organizations shall be paid by their organization. These claims shall cover in and out of station.
Annual Leave for National Service Personnel (NSPs)
Personnel shall be entitled to one-month annual terminal leave. For the avoidance of doubt; the leave shall be from August 1st to 31st. Personnel shall be entitled to their monthly allowance during the period of their annual leave.
National Service Personnel Association (NASPA)
National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) is an association of all National Service Personnel. The aim of NASPA is to collaborate with management to ensure the total welfare of members. NASPA operates at the district, regional and national levels. I urge every service personnel to keen interest in its activities.
OFFENCES UNDER THE NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME
1. Evasion: Any person called for service that is not available or does not report at his post within a period of three months after the close of posting and without proper authorization from the National Service Board, shall be considered an evader and the appropriate sanctions shall be evoked under Act. 426 Sections 28 (c).
2. Desertion: Any service personnel who takes up posting but fails to complete the full period of service, without proper authorization from the Board shall be declared a deserter and appropriate sanctions shall be applied to such service personnel. Three months after desertion, the service personnel shall be declared an evader. Any national service rendered before desertion shall be nullified and personnel on reporting back to the National Service Secretariat shall be made to start afresh.
3. Self-Posting: Service Personnel who post themselves to any establishments/institutions other than those, to which they were officially posted, either with or without the connivance of the heads of those establishments, shall be declared self-posters and their service with the establishment shall not be recognized as National Service and the appropriate sanctions shall be applied to them.
4. Absenteeism: National Service Personnel who absents themselves from work without the approval of their heads of institutions/establishments shall forfeit their allowance for the number of days absent.
It is the expectation of management that all NSPs will take note of the above, and also abide by the rules and regulations governing the institutions to which they have been posted.
OBLIGATION ON EMPLOYERS
Section 7 (1) of Act 426 states that; 'A person who has not commenced and completed his period of national service shall not-
(a) obtain employment outside the scheme; or
(b) be employed by any other person outside the scheme; or
(c) be engaged in any employment outside the scheme, whether self-employed or otherwise…..'.
Section 7 (2) of Act 426 further states that ' It shall be the duty of every employer to ascertain from every employee, upon his appointment, whether or not he is liable to national service and if he is, the employer shall notify the Board forthwith…'.
Management wishes to urge employers to take note of the above provision and be guided accordingly.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, National Service programmes continue to be implemented in countries across the globe. In several countries, long-standing national service programmes are being re-thought, many with new focus on youth service as an important vehicle for the youth to contribute to national development as well as preparing them for employment. Countries such as Tanzania, Liberia, Zambia Uganda and South Africa are working at re-introducing national service programmes. The United States and Britain are reintroducing national service programmes as a means of positively and productively engaging the youth. It is in the light of the above that we, at the Ghana National Service Scheme are working very hard at re-designing our programmes to respond positively to the needs of the youth. In the next 2 months we shall bring to the public some of these initiatives.
I therefore wish to urge our in-coming service personnel to accept postings to any part of this country as their civic responsibility to mother Ghana. We challenge all interested parties to join hands with the scheme to ensure that personnel render effective and satisfactory service to the nation.
As we commence this year's National Service, let us on daily basis place our right hand on our chest and meditate on our collective National Pledge:
'I promise on my honour to be faithful and loyal to Ghana my Motherland.
I pledge myself to the service of Ghana with all my strength and with all my heart. I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers; and I pledge myself in all things to uphold and DEFEND the GOOD name of GHANA. SO HELP ME GOD'.
As we approach the national election in December, I, behalf of management urge all National Service Personnel to display high level of maturity. To those who are deployed to support the election, management wishes to urge them to demonstrate high level of neutrality and maturity, to avoid the violence that characterizes elections in parts of Africa.
Management wishes to commend all stakeholders for their continuous support in ensuring smooth implementation of our programmes.
To our friends in the media, I wish to thank you for your continued support, and urge that we continue this enviable collaboration to ensure total development of Mother Ghana.
On this note, I declare the 2012-2013 National service postings duly released and service begins on Monday, 10thSeptember 2012 and ends on 31stAugust 2013.
Thank you, and GOD bless our Homeland GHANA and make our Nation GREAT and STRONG!