By Ishmael Dumbuya
The Executive Director of the National Youth Service Programme, Mohamed Onanah Jalloh has disclosed in an interview with this medium that in this year’s batch 5 recruitment, 46% shortlisted applicants were female.
Onanah Jalloh went on to state that his directorate was adhering to the president’s call for female representation, which was why they have over the years paid greater attention to female recruitment in the National Youth Service. He further stated that it is the dream of President Bio to have more female participation in the country.
He highlighted that it is their fundamental belief that women be given the platform to compete in all walks of life in the country, noting that it is a key pillar of the program
He went on to state that the scheme is meant to provide newly qualified graduates with opportunities to obtain practical job experience in the public and private sectors of the economy.
The target population of the NYS is comprised of Sierra Leoneans who are not over 35 years of age on the day of their graduation and have obtained a degree from recognized universities or colleges.
However, as enshrined in Section 28(1) and (2) of the NYS Act (2016), these graduates could be exempted from the NYS on medical grounds or if they are members of the Armed Forces or Police Force.
Also, graduates whose disciplines are not a national development priority may be exempted. Policies and programmes are geared towards the elimination of gender, class and ethnic bias. The identification of target groups reflects the needs of young women and men nationwide, the Executive Director explained.
Onanah disclosed that the National Youth Service (NYS) is a national programme that promotes youth participation in governance.
This Strategy and Roadmap for Implementation will guide the implementation of the NYS whose goal is to provide newly qualified graduates with opportunities to obtain practical job experience in the public and private sectors of the economy.
Jalloh however, stressed that the Directorate does not give graduates jobs, but create the enabling environment for these graduates to secure jobs in the institutions in which they have been assigned.
Onanah called on graduates in the country not to allow themselves to be controlled and used by politicians as the elections are around the corner.
This year’s 21 days training is scheduled to take place in the Peace Mission Training Center PMTC, Hastings.