The Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, has kicked against a proposal by the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to make the one-year mandatory National Service optional when he is voted to power.
Dr. Apaak, who also doubles as the Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament said such a policy will only create an avenue for bribery and corruption to thrive.
The educationist who was speaking to Citi News argued that the move will decline patriotism among Ghanaian students upon completion of their tertiary education.
While announcing his vision for the country in Accra on Wednesday, Dr. Bawumia announced plans to make the service optional when he is elected president in the upcoming general elections.
“I believe it is time to rethink the concept of our current national service scheme. My government will propose that those who, after completion of their education, can secure jobs, would be exempted from national service. National service will no longer be mandatory, and students will have the option to decide whether to do national service. This will also encourage companies to go to campuses for recruitment annually,” Dr. Bawumia said.
Dr. Clement Apaak said the implementation of such a proposal will only create a favourable exemption opportunity for the children of the political elite.
“What it will essentially do is introduce optional service in place of National Service, and once it becomes optional, it also creates the avenue for bribery and corruption. We all know the value of doing National Service, and we know that the National Service certificate plays a very important role, especially for those of us who will want to go into public service.”
“Time without number, you may have heard persons who have been nominated for ministerial positions being asked by the Appointments Committee where they did their National Service and whether they have certificates and so by saying that we are going to make it optional, you are totally destroying what we know and replacing it with a system that will only exempt the sons and daughters of the political elite.”