My National Service Story: Freda Cann

My name is Freda Anoa Cann. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from the University of Ghana. In the latter part of 2013 (September/ October), I started national service at the Ghana Armed Forces as a Research and Translation Assistant under the Education Directorate. I was really excited to have my posting in Accra and more so because I did not have to bribe anyone at the Secretariat to put me at a ‘good place’.

I remember the registration process was very cumbersome and tiring; the long queues, the paper work especially considering the fact that we had already wdone an online registration, the venue (having to be under the scorching sun), the inconveniences with getting a nearby and adequate stationery to print things for us, the inability to complete registration on the same day and thus, the inconvenience of having to return the next day and sometimes even more days. The registration process, in brief, was not not.

That notwithstanding, I must admit that I enjoyed my national service time. There were a few mishaps. For instance, being sexually harassed by officers of all ranks. There was also the problem of being underutilized. Above all, nonetheless, like I’ve earlier hinted, it was an enjoyable experience; colleagues I worked with from different backgrounds enriched my perspective on life. I learned more about teamwork and having a mission. My team was so united that we were highly acknowledged by the Senior Staff on our last day of service there. I loved the discipline at work. I admired and learned what it meant to be submissive and respectful to all manner of people. All in all, I got positive reviews/ recommendations for other jobs. I maintain ties with officers there to this day.

Fruitful, it was to an extent; beneficial also to an extent. I’d rate it 50%.

I believe that national service could be so much better if the entire registration process were done ONLINE.

Also, I’m of the conviction that we would go a long way as a nation if postings were not done based on fear or favor (I do not say this because I got to serve in my desirable region).


Peniella Doris Ampong is a communications person and an educational consultant.She is a founding member of Studentshubgh.A graduate of the University of Ghana’s MA in Communications, Studies, she serves as a columnist with Studentshubgh and the social media manager. She writes and offers advice and mentoring in the area of academic and school decisions as well as admissions procedures. Follow her on facebook @penielladorisampong

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