Let’s dialogue on national service postings — Institution of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Ghana has called for a national dialogue to look at ways to address the frustrations that some graduates go through during re-posting before being accepted into certain institutions to do their national service.
It said stakeholders including the government, industry and the various universities needed to come together to discuss how the postings could be done seamlessly for the benefit of all so that graduates are not rejected in some institutions and asked to go for re-posting.
Moreover, he said the conversation could be expanded to also cover industrial attachments for students.
Following the recent postings, the President of IET-Ghana, Henry Kwadwo Boateng, told the Daily Graphic that he had been inundated with calls from some engineering graduates who were posted to some institutions but were asked to go for re-posting because those institutions did not have spaces to accommodate them.
He said what was even more frustrating was when personnel were asked to look for organisations by themselves in some cases for them to be re-posted to those organisations, adding that if such a practice existed in the past, it should not be allowed to continue since it had to change.
“We have engineering student chapters in the various universities and they give us a lot of information to that effect on their postings.
We receive information from them that when they are posted to some organisations and industries, they are rejected because those places are full and they could not be taken and thus had to go for re-posting.
“When it happens like that, it becomes very disturbing and for the IET-Ghana, we think this has to be looked at to prevent graduates from going through those difficulties.
So I think it is time for us to have a conversation on how we should go about it by putting our heads together to look at how best we can go about this,” he said.
Mr Boateng said with the introduction of the free senior high school (SHS) programme, universities had increased their admissions to accommodate the large number of students.
He said apart from the normal class sizes, institutions were running weekend programmes in addition to sandwich and distance programmes.
He said with industry yet to expand to cater for the large number of graduates that were coming out every year, it was prudent to look at how possible the service postings could be done without letting prospective service persons go through stress to serve their country.
“With the free SHS, the universities are producing a lot of graduates meanwhile, industry is not expanding to take care of that large number.
So, industry itself has a concern because it does not have enough space to accommodate the service persons,” he emphasised.
Mr Boateng said what was even not fair was for graduates to look for places to be re-posted to when they were rejected at places that were full.
“If you are posted and then rejected and asked to go and look for a place yourself for you to be re-posted to by word of mouth, it is not fair in this day and age.
Asking them to do that through word of mouth is unprofessional and that institutions that are ready to accept such students should be compelled to write letters to formalise their readiness to accept them rather than through oral communication.
“I believe when we all sit around the table, we will be able to come out with something better.
These are future leaders,” he said.
Mr Boateng said national service was one area graduates got experience, built contacts and networks for their future development.
He stated that in the technical universities, the students were taken through competency-based training (CBT) which equipped them with the relevant hands-on skills.
The CBT training, he said, must be well utilised for the benefit and development of the country “and so let’s sit and jaw-jaw and build a consensus for the betterment of the posting and for the country at large.
National service is compulsory and so let’s help graduates to enjoy what they do in serving their country”.