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Opinions Tue, 16 Jul 2013

The plights of the young ghanaian university graduates

Four years in the university was an adventurous journey, after school you are made to serve your nation through a mandatory one year national service, sorry, national suffering it was. Unlike our counterparts in the training institutions who receive fat allowances than the one we receive for national service even when they are still in school, life becomes a bit difficult because of financial difficulties.

Six out of ten SHS graduates are likely to choose nursing or teacher training schools over universities even though those programs are offered in the universities, first not because they love the profession but because of the allowance they will receive which their university counterparts in those fields are denied, and also job security. Even a university trained nurse has to roam with brown envelops in search for job not forgetting the university of education trained teacher. University is the center of excellence for producing high grade professionals in any field of the academia. Remember university is the highest institution of education and no country as ever developed without it.

With barely a month to end the national service, it is becoming increasingly clear most of national service persons don’t know what to do next with their lives; trepidation of the unemployment syndrome seems to be drawing in the faces of young graduates. Phrases such as “Ei no be eazy”, “God dey”, “Unless protocol”, “I can’t even sleep”,” man tire”, that’s Gh for you, unless connection and the like have become the street jargons of these innocent graduates. Inasmuch as university education is not only meant to prepare graduates to be employed by others, government equally has a shared responsibility to create jobs and an enabling environment for potential business start ups.

We live in a country where training institutions are better off than universities. University graduates are now enemies of the state. Where are we heading towards as a nation? Graduates have played a distinct role in the management and growth of our economy which is clear for all to see. Are these positives not attributed to the importance of university education ?.The refusal of government to harness the positives in the Ghanaian graduate to develop the country is a danger to the entire citizenry because of the posibility nature has in taping the negative energies of graduates into foul activities such as internet fraud and hacking of internet servers by some unemployed computer scientists which is evident for all to see because the devil finds job for an idle hand. So till a group of engineers and scientists from a related field of chemistry and botany, produce a chemical having the possibility of degrading our forest to deserts the danger in unemployment of these brains not be realized?

The fear of the young graduate deepens with the growing trend of membership of the unemployed graduates association and the coming into existence each day new tertiary institutions. It is very common to see graduates with first degrees and some with masters taking up pupil teacher positions they applied with their senior high school certificates, is this not a diabolic plan of the government to pay them less because a pupil teacher receives only about half the pay of a teacher training college graduate, is it not strange? If so why is the government wasting resources in financing tertiary education in the first place. It is very common find graduates who earn just GHS250 salary per month because of unavailable jobs but the Ghana education service complains of inadequate teachers. It would have been of help if government will enroll graduates into a quarter or half year education courses so they can teach since the government is only interested in teachers, nurses and security services leaving other professions at bay.

There is a misconception that university graduates want white collar jobs, this is a complete fallacy because most of the young graduates will want to do something on their own but financial constraints and environmental factors will not permit them. Many young graduates have very excellent business plans which are made to rot due to lack of support. If university students are given allowances while in school like the other institutions, unemployment would have been a thing of the past because it would have been the startup capital for these young entrepreneurs. Even those who want to teach after service are denied but GES still complains about lack of teachers. What wrong have we done for going to the university? No wonder we may soon have empty universities.

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Government’s plan of employing some of the about to finish national service persons into the local government departments has also not seen the light of the day as the system has been stifled with orchestrations by some top echelons in government for political expediency making the forms hard to find as searching a single pin on the Saharan desert and thereby undermining the integrity of this brilliant idea.

It is interesting to know that most companies and institutions both private and government have devise a means of getting many service personal every year posted to their establishments as a means of cheap labor and instead of instating some of the national service persons as workers after their service, they will rather offer them a three month contract after service to fill the shortage of workers till the next barge of national service persons are posted then these young graduates are ejected into the world of unemployment to go find their own jobs. Oh mother Ghana.

I will plead with the necessary authorities to take a vivid look into these matters to help find lasting solutions to our plights as young graduates. The earlier government and stake holders take a serious look at the plights of young graduates to tap our energies into profitable ventures, the plights of these innocent ones remain a nightmare.

Boamah Seth Panyin

actseth@gmail.com

Columnist: Boamah Seth Panyin
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