The National Youth Service Year: An Overview
The National Youth Service Corps Year comprises of four (4) main segments in which every Corps Members must satisfactorily participate before he/she is qualified to be issued a certificate of National Service. The service year therefore comprises of:
- Orientation Courses
- Primary Assignment
- Community Development Service
- Winding – Up/Passing –out
A National Youth Service Corps year starts with a 3 weeks orientation course and it is compulsory for all Nigeria graduates mobilised for national service. The course lasts for three (3) weeks and is designed to achieve the following objectives:
- To give Corps Members a better understanding of the objectives of the NYSC Scheme and enable them internalise its ideals
- To acquaint members with their environment in their political, cultural, social and economic setting
- To prepare Corps members for their particular roles in the Scheme.
- To equip them with practical social and leadership skills that will enable them meet the challenges of the service year ahead.
- To inculcate in the Corps members the spirit of national consciousness as a basic ingredient in nation building.
- To instil discipline in the youths.
- To give Corps members adequate physical and mental training.
- To imbibe them with the Spirit of collective responsibility.
To achieve the above objectives the orientation course opens with a swearing –in/opening ceremony presided over by the executive Governor of the State/FCT Minister. The oath of Allegiance and the National Pledge are administered by the Chief Judge of the State/FCT.
The orientation course content involves physical training, drills, lectures on the people and tradition of the host State, professional lectures for Corps health personnel’s, lawyers, teachers and Skill acquisition training e.t.c. Corps members participate in social activities designed to create opportunities for them to interact.
They participate in dance and drama competitions, Miss NYSC and Mr Macho.
They also participate in inter platoon competitions on football, volleyball, table tennis, cooking and sanitation.
Corps members are also trained on Man ‘O’ War activities leading to competitions on inter platoon drills and tug of war.
At the end of the orientation, Corps members are posted to their place of primary assignment. While the NYSC Management takes into consideration the areas of specialization of Corps members carrying out the posting exercise, emphasis is placed in rural posting in the areas of Agriculture, Health, Education and Infrastructure.
It is expected that Corps members should accept their posting and be agents of change contributing towards the development of their host communities.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICE
The Community Development Service (CDS) is aimed at harnessing the skills, creativity and innovativeness of Corps members. Corps members are expected to identified the needs of their host communities and mobilise members of their host communities to embark on the projects.
Through this programme, many Corps members were able to construct bridges, health care centres, classroom blocks, market stalls, culverts etc. they had also carried out projects like HIV sensitization, adult literacy campaign, extra-mural classes for students, road safety campaign etc. Corps members participate actively in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) through the War Against Poverty (WAP) programme of the scheme.
At the end of the service year (usually at the 12th month) corps members are gathered in their respective zones for assessment of the service year and de briefing. It is the period when Corps members present their final clearance letters from their employers and submit same to their Zonal/Local Government Inspectors.
Parade rehearsals are conducted in readiness for the passing-out ceremony which is usually presided over by the Executive Governor of the State. During the ceremony, those with outstanding performance during the service year are given State Honours Award. For a Corps member to merit an award, he/she must be outstanding in the orientation course, primary assignment, community development service and winding –up exercise.