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By Kunle Bello
As many people know, the major elements of the National Youth Service Scheme such as camping, place of primary assignment, community development service also known as core assignment and passing out, must be duly completed before a corp member is entitled to the award of NYSC certificate.
As corp members are striving towards completing these cardinal programs, effort should also made within the service year for self-development. It is quite unfortunate that many corp members idle away the service year and at the end, they join the popular chorus saying: ‘the service year is a huge waste of time’.
The common strategy during the service year is for corp members to save a paltry sum out of their monthly allowance in order to meet up with their daily upkeep or to sustain themselves after the service year pending the time they secure a dream job in the labour market.
However, experience has shown that most of the money saved during the service year ends-up being exhausted within few weeks/months after leaving service while such corp members are still searching for jobs which keeps them living from hand-to-mouth, especially if such graduates do not have a well-to-do family to cater for their immediate needs.
This ugly trend can be curtailed if corp members can save a certain part of their monthly allowance strictly for self-investment which will go a long way to make them stand out in the labour market or equip them to start their own business.
Self-investment can be defined as steps taking to better oneself, such as learning new skills or overcoming bad habits. It offers individuals an opportunity to gain some perspectives about their life so that they may begin planning for the future.
Self-investment during the service year can take diverse forms but the most visible is for corp members to enroll in a professional course that is relevant to their discipline in government recognised and accredited centers or obtain any certification that can make them stand tall among their peers jostling for scarcely available jobs in the labour market.
Corp members can also opt to attend skill acquisition training or entrepreneurship program, which can make them self-reliant after the service year.
Self-investment during the service year if duly pursued in the right way and right manner with determination and discipline can make it worthwhile and fulfilling without jeopardising aforementioned major elements of the National Youth Service scheme.