YES—NYSC IS TOTALLY JUSTIFIED!
Education is the Passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to them that prepare for it today—MALCOLM X
I want to seize this opportunity to congratulate all those who have been successfully mobilized for the 2013 batch A service year, may your road be rough and your end be smooth.
What has brought me before you, honourable lords today is the matter of the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC] new stringent policies for students and institutions. In a workshop of the 2013 Batch ‘A’ Pre-Mobilisation Workshop; held at the Kwara State Government House Banquet Hall, Ilorin, Kwara State; on Thursday, 17th January, 2013, the NYSC resolved in a 10 point statement, its move for the next one year and beyond. The resolution had many gray areas, but of interest in this courtroom today is point 1 and point 4, but 4 particularly.
4. “…Candidates who were admitted through either preliminary/remedial programmes, transfer or affiliations did not have JAMB registration numbers cannot hold water because all admission ought to have passed through JAMB. As such, NYSC will not mobilise candidates without JAMB Registration numbers”.
The above however translate to mean that students who entered tertiary institution through pre-degree, A-levels, OND, HND and other means that are independent of the Joint Admissions Matriculation board [JAMB] would not be allowed to serve. As cruel as this may seem, I am of the opinion that the policies are justified, yes justified.
Like Malcolm X said about education being the passport to the future, imagine getting to the future with education as your passport only to find out that your passport is faulty. We may claim to have a good educational system, but what do you say of students who buy their ways into universities and other tertiary institutions. What do we say of some private Universities, where money bags make JAMB totally irrelevant and insult our educational system? Where the poor man’s son has to stay years at home, brooding over JAMB, while the money bags get into school manipulating the system.
Here, with the new policies, NYSC will be able to curb all those illegal excesses and manipulation hence adding credibility to the JAMB, NYSC and our educational system at large. This will further aid in the halting illegal admission across our tertiary institution. This may be cruel for now, as it will affect a lot of people, but the truth be told, it will help us all deliver the future, hence NYSC is justified.
NYSC NOT JUSTIFIED!
They came clean through the bleak grey sands of struggle in Universities of a third world country. Universities that are governed by cantankerous individuals that rolls out preposterous policies that are not conducive for students’ environment. They came out with the flaming touch of excellence to impact the world. They went through thick and thin; times when industrial actions were the order of the day. Coupled with these are the numerous challenges of a student in a developing nation in the wake of the 21st century. Having gone through this narrow road to attain a first degree in a course of their choice, it will be uncalled for if they are deprived the opportunity to serve their father’s land.
The National Youths Service Corps founded by the former head of state of Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon was established on the basis of fostering national unity and social rejuvenation of the nation’s polity. It was made compulsory for all graduates to enrol for this Service Corps which lasts for a year. The recent policies released by the National Youth Service Corps stating that only students that gained admission into the University through JAMB will be allowed to participate in the Service Corps exercise. I strongly believe that such an obnoxious policy is uncalled for at a time like this. There should not be discrimination among students; this calibre of policies will draw a thin line between students admitted through JAMB and those who got admission through Direct Entry. Such a policy seems to precipitate a melodramatic giggle. Is it a crime if you gain admission through Direct Entry? After struggling to get a National Diploma or a Higher National Diploma or A’ Levels, yet deprived to serve your fatherland is harsh. Many opt for this option due to their inability to secure admission through JAMB, several of them have enrolled for JAMB many times or simply unable to secure admission due to some anomalies. A good number of them are brilliant but were just victims of circumstances. JAMB Registration Number should not be a basis for enrolment into NYSC but it should rather be the certificate of the graduate; Is he or she worthy in character and learning?
Furthermore, one of the new policies which states that: “All Corps Producing Institutions (CPIs) have been advised to abide by the extant admission quota approved by the NUC and NBTE respectively in making submission for mobilization. Any submission in excess of quotas approved will not be accepted. Graduates of courses not duly accredited by these regulatory bodies will not be mobilized for service.” This implies that if NUC accredits UI’s Philosophy department to admit a maximum of 70 students, then it will be a crime for them to graduate 80, the policy states emphatically that only 70 out of the 80 will be allowed to enrol for service.
As the scenario gets more dramatic, these policies have to a large extent affected a lot of fresh graduates. 800 graduates of UNILAG were affected by this array of grotesque policies and have been side lined from the NYSC Batch ‘A’ Service. In the Premier University, 6% of the graduates were affected under the ambiguous and vague “error list”. NYSC is not in any way justified, we must speak out now before it becomes the norm. If I am not affected tomorrow, it could be you!
CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. NYSC NEW POLICIES: JUSTIFIED?
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