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The concept of the National Service Scheme as established by the Act of Parliament 1980, Act 426 was to principally ‘encourage the spirit of national service among all segments of Ghanaian society in the effort of nation -building through active participation’ and ‘develop skilled manpower through practical training’. It is indeed regrettable to note that our education system has rather taken a theoretical dimension which only encourages a ‘chew, pour, pass and forget’ phenomenon creating a huge deficit between academia and industry.
In recent times, national service has become an avenue for personnel to obtain what they perhaps could not gain for several years in our tertiary institutions, preparing ourselves into refined products for the job market. Considering the highly competitive nature of both public and private sector jobs in our nation with employers often insidiously seeking unfathomable years of work experience which fresh graduates would in no way possess, a national service extension which offers a golden opportunity for further personal, career, skills and intellectual development should not be downplayed in any way.
The exigency to surmount the hurdle of satisfying employers requirement in human resource and skill challenges of fresh graduates offers a moment for deeper introspection on re-aligning the objectives of national service to provide what we lack in order to fit into the practical job market.
The announcement of the optional extension of the 2015/2016 national service for some six (6) months with pay has received undue mixed reactions within the service personnel fraternity raising several questions from the timing to the main intention as well as the aftermath of the extension.
Undoubtedly, this service extension is the best opportunity to enhance one’s employability, acquire extra experience and most importantly showcase nationalism. Over 85% of service personnel are posted to facilities within their domain of study which only enhances their professional know-how.
In surviving a competitive global job market, possessing expertise in other relevant fields makes a prospective job seeker ideal to be hired. Spending extra six months to boost your market value worth golden than spending same job hunting.
This is a course worth championing and supporting. I encourage all service personnel due for completion to embrace this opportunity wholehearted as it mainly inures to our chances of standing out on the job market. This national service extension should be considered a gain not a pain

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