The National Service Scheme (NSS) in Ghana is a one year mandatory post-tertiary service to the government. You do not get paid, there's only an allowance (less than $150 a month) to keep you going. Why? The government (actually, our taxes) subsidizes the cost of tertiary education; we only pay academic facility user fees.
In my opinion, the NSS could be a goldmine for the country; an opportunity to get quality work done, by degree holders, for almost no pay. Now, if I were the NSS Director:
- I would ask applicants to attach their resumés to their NSS application: So I can better assess their strengths and weaknesses and place them at strategic postings to our (applicant and government) mutual benefit.
- I would categorize applicants into:
- Those who held leadership positions whilst in college
- Those who took active part in extra-curricular activities and held positions of responsibility
- Those who developed skill sets outside their course requirements
- The rest; regardless of their GPA
- I would place those in Category 1, who are usually those with political affiliations (SRC Prez, etc) in the classrooms, so that when (not if) they become politicians, they would value education at all levels
- I would put together the list of research, 'reports', and those committee-and-review-and-probe stuff our government likes to do, as well as on-going and new projects that need to be supervised or undertaken by professionals. I would place the Category 2 and 3 applicants in these roles. They would head or supervise the less complicated ones, and we'll have them constituting committees headed by consultants for the rest. At least with that we can cut down the huge costs of sitting allowances and 'coffee breaks'. The government would also benefit from the skill sets of our Category 3 applicants; websites, improving infrastructure, etc. ALL FOR LESS THAN $150/MONTH PER PERSON. Isn't that cool!
- To those in Category 2 and 3, I'll also give the option of starting their own businesses, with the allowance giving them a steady income for a year. Of course, we'll have some sort of business incubation section of the NSS to give guidance and make sure they do not fail.
You notice I didn't say anything about the Category 4 applicants. I do not know what to do with them. Maybe the big GPAs should go to the classrooms? What do you think? If you were the NSS Director ...