Dr. Clement Apaak, the Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, has raised concerns over the proposal made by the New Patriotic Party’s flagbearer, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to make the one-year mandatory National Service optional. According to Dr. Apaak, this move would only create opportunities for bribery and corruption to thrive, while also failing to foster patriotism among Ghanaian students after completing their tertiary education.
Dr. Apaak’s comments come in response to Dr. Bawumia’s announcement of plans to revise the national service scheme during an event in Accra. Dr. Bawumia suggested that those who secure jobs after completing their education would be exempted from national service, effectively making it optional. He argued that this adjustment would encourage companies to recruit directly from campuses.
However, Dr. Apaak expressed concerns that such a proposal would introduce a system ripe for exploitation, particularly by the children of the political elite. He emphasized the importance of the National Service certificate in various sectors, especially public service, and warned that making national service optional could undermine its value.
Dr. Apaak further highlighted the role of the National Service certificate in verifying individuals’ qualifications for ministerial positions, pointing out that removing the mandatory nature of national service could erode its significance and lead to preferential treatment for certain individuals.
In essence, Dr. Apaak cautioned against replacing the current mandatory National Service with an optional system, arguing that it would not only compromise the integrity of the program but also perpetuate inequalities within society.