Established in 1973, the National Service Scheme (NSS) is a Government of Ghana program under the Ministry of Education of Ghana with a National Secretariat in Accra, and offices in all administrative regions and districts across the country. The scheme is mandated to deploy a pool of skilled manpower drawn primarily from tertiary institutions to support development efforts of both the public and private sectors in Ghana. Although it is citizenry requirement for all Ghanaians who are eighteen years above, it is currently limited to, and mandatory for all Ghanaians graduating from tertiary educational institutions who are not less than eighteen years old. The original intent of deploying freshly graduating youth under the NSS arrangement, is to ensure that priority sectors of our national life are never lacking in the requisite human resources needed for development.
Overtime, the National Service Scheme has progressed beyond merely distributing graduates to public institutions and establishments. Whilst still principally providing manpower to the established institutions of our national economy, NSS is also engaged in collaboration with others in the search for answers to the teething questions surrounding the strategies of development in various aspects of our national life and the contradictions arising out of OUR heritage. Such questions include the kind of education system that is more meaningful to the majority of our people; how National Service Personnel could be integrated into the development efforts of our rural people; how technology and science can be made accessible to and manageable by ordinary people of our country; and lessons from academic training can be related as well as translated into practical actions for the good of Ghanaians.
Currently, the Scheme effectively deploys personnel from both public and private tertiary institutions across the country. In the last few years, NSS had deployed an average of 70,000 national service personnel each year to various user agencies. With a renewed focus on nation-building through active support for all efforts geared towards creating opportunities for individual and collective initiatives, NSS is collaborating with user agencies to ensure that rural communities derive maximum benefits from the expertise of young engineers, doctors, social scientist, lawyers, artisans, accountants, nurses and educationist among others who constitute the core of human resources deployed annually by the scheme. NSS offers an excellent transition from the world of organized learning to the world of work, and has become the major conveyor belt through which most urban born and educated Ghanaians first encounter and appreciate life in the rural areas, as well as, an opportunity for national service personnel to reflect about their career options.
The National Service Scheme continues to play a vital role in exposing young Ghanaians to the realities of life and career enhancing opportunities, and business ideas at a time when they are yet to settle. National service personnel as future leaders of Ghana are a treasured group at any given time; hence, it is essential that their academic training is rounded with practical application. As such NSS always presents unique opportunities to test and perfect skills in areas such as planning, innovation, individual initiative, creativity, strategic thinking and community mobilization need for development.
- Encourage the spirit of national service among ALL segments of Ghanaian society in the effort of nation -building through active participation.
- Undertake projects designed to combat hunger, illiteracy, disease and unemployment in Ghana.
- Help provide essential services and amenities, particularly in towns and villages of the rural areas of Ghana.
- Develop skilled manpower through practical training.
- Promote national unity and strengthen the bonds of common citizenship among Ghanaians.
NATIONAL SERVICE DEPLOYMENT
The Scheme’s deployment is contingent on provisions of section (3) of Act 426, which directs the scheme to deploy personnel to undertake National Service duties in:
- Local Government
- Rural Development, including surveying, physical planning, civil engineering and rural industries.
- Youth Programmes