On September 1, 2020 at 6pm, I received a text that I was posted to Ghana Civil Aviation Authority – Head of Office, Accra for my National Service. I broke the news to Mama, it was all excitement and praises to God.
Mama said, “very soon my son will be flying to and fro abroad.” I laughed and explained to her that it was just a stationary service work at the airport and not yet what she is thinking but I promised her that I am going to work hard, be submissive and put up the best of behavior so they might consider retaining permanently after the service, she smiled and said “I pray so too”.
It was a dream come through for a boy from an unrecognised town called Aboadze in the West (I normally refer to Takoradi a close city which is much recognised).
On September 2, I was off from Takoradi to Kumasi to my former hostel at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to get my luggages which I couldn’t take home because of the lockdown.
On the 3rd, I was off from Kumasi to Accra to a family friend’s home (he had asked me to come stay at his end for my one year service).
On the 4th with lit heart, I was at the reception of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to deliver my appointment letter which was well received.
I met a couple of others there, we were asked to leave our contact information on which we will be contacted to start our service. There rest were day dreaming and waiting for a call which never came.
2 weeks was enough, I made my way to the front desk for a check up, I was told the list and date hasn’t been released yet and that the calls will be made when the list is ready.
I waited patiently for another 2 weeks, I did visit the reception again and there was no positive response.
On October 12, a month and barely 2 weeks prior to the submission of the appointment letter, It was getting uncomfortable as most NSPs have commenced and I was still home.
I did make my way to the authority again and this time, I was directed to the HR’s office. On arriving there, I met others who were all smiling and receiving their acceptance form.
It got to my turn only to be handed back my appointment letter with a stamp and a written note “kindly report NSP”. I smiled and said “Mum, when am I to commence, there is no date here” and she said read it well, it is “Kindly repost NSP”.
I stood still for a while it was like being pierced by a needle, I gathered courage and asked, “why am I rejected, there was no interviews nor test so what criteria was used for the selection?” She said she didn’t know, so I said “I was told you are the HR so why don’t you know?” and she said “I am not the one who signed the form”.
I asked again “who signed the form?, I would like to speak to him or her” and she said “he is not around”. At this moment I knew she was lying because the handwriting looked more of a female than a male but there was nothing I could do.
Like a bird beaten by heavy downpour, I made my way sadly back home.
Though I submitted my form quite early, though there are numerous departments in the authority that I fit there as a Geomatic Engineer, though I showed the best of behavior, though I was highly determined to work hard, I got rejected.
The truth is, there is a number of fresh graduates like me who have been rejected by companies where they were posted for their service and we ain’t the first victims to receive “Kindly repost NSP” from a company, it has been the issue for graduates for the past years.
We can’t blame the private agencies but the most heart breaking ones come from being rejected by a government agency. A service to the nation and yet being rejected by the nation’s own Aviation Authority?
I then asked myself, why is national service made compulsory? It’s so clear that the nation agencies need the services of only a few discriminated selected graduates so why is it made compulsory?
Why must I struggle, get stressed out and depressed in the search for a company to render my service to my nation?
This is not a story seeking for pity nor favors, I am AUGUSTINE BAIDOO, a KNUST Geomatic Engineering Graduate and I write this to seek ANSWERS.
Author: Augustine Baidoo,
Geomatic Engineering Graduate,
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.