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12 October 2017 | Opinion/Feature

On The Issue Of Non-payment Of National Service Allowance; A Voice For The Shrilled Voices

Bright Agropah
On The Issue Of Non-payment Of National Service Allowance; A Voice For The Shrilled Voices

Few months ago, I was fortunate to be enrolled into a leadership training program organised by Germany’s biggest and oldest political foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the Youth Network for Human Rights and Advocacy(YOU-NET) and that has given me the impetus to make the following submissions. I must admit that I was bedazzled by the kind of treatment I received from the training. Thanks to the organisers of the training. I came to understand why Germany is widely known for its efficiency.

To my surprise, I was given every study material required for my training on the day of introduction even before the training kick-started. A quality bag, exercise books, notepads, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpener, and highlighters were all provided. Could I even use everything provided during my training? That is another mystery to be discussed on another day. If all these personal materials which ordinarily were supposed to have been acquired by the trainees themselves were provided, how is the provision of facilitation materials going to be a problem? Owing to the fact that, everything needed for the training was provided by the organizers, they were able to demand obeisance, diligence and efficiency from participants and participants had no choice than to be efficient and comply to the rules of engagement.

Last week, I was at the Goethe Institute for a program where the National Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party and the Board Chairman of the National Youth Authority, Mr. Samuel Awuku spoke. He reiterated same claim having spent some time in Germany. It is thus not in contention that Germany’s efficiency is unsurpassable.

The basis for the Germany’s efficiency is obvious. Now, to the crux of my write-up. Can any institution whose national service persons are paid by government demand efficiency and punctuality from the service persons? I think not. Must there always be an outcry before the right things are done? I do not want to believe that it is assumed that these service persons are employees and for that matter they had an option not to serve. Has it ever occurred to authorities how national service persons transport themselves to work? Again, even if they are fortunate to get free transportation each day, what about their feeding? Perhaps it is assumed that all service persons are from well to do families where parents continue to spend on them during service. It is shocking to even come to the reality that some parents look up to these poor service persons for their upkeep. Let us not sit aloof and think service persons are okay with their situation because the service persons affected have kept mute.

The best response the National Service Scheme can give to this article is to pay the allowances with alacrity. No amount of excuse and justification can soothe the situation.

The author, Bright Agropah is a columnist of blatant truth, critical thinker and writer. He is former student leader of the University of Ghana and more importantly, a proud Change Engineer.