Calling it a “special learning journey”, the Singapore Armed Force Reservist Association (SAFRA) tied up with a childcare chain, Kinderland Educare Services, and brought 110 preschoolers to a military training ground to inculcate NS doctrine.
One of the visits was the SAFTI Military Institute, and children as young as four years old were shown military training like drills and physical tests like the Standard Obstacle Course (SOC).
The Vice President of the SAF Veterans’ League Colonel (RET) Lau Kee Siong even said that the SAF is trying to seed “positive values like discipline, fighting spirit and ethics” in the children .
Due to falling popularity and support of National Service (NS), more young Singaporeans see NS as disruptive, unnecessary and a bastion of inequality. This is largely due to the influx of foreigners who were given better opportunities in universities admission and employment. New citizens and Permanent Residents are also excused from the oppressive NS regime, which often see many servicemen in jail for offenses as trivial as insubordination and “general disobedience”.
Many Singaporeans have been calling for the reduction of NS because of its disruptive nature, with some even calling for its total abolition because NS becomes irrelevant in an information age today. The growing dissent against the ruling party PAP Government has also created a “rebel force”, where soldiers are more likely to turn their guns against the PAP leaders in times of conflict instead of shooting at the enemy.
The move to seed ideas of National Service into young Singaporeans is nothing new as the Singapore education and media run NS propaganda in textbooks and the national newspapers. Singaporeans as young as 6 years old are taught a subject called “Civil and Moral Education” where NS was advertised as the Singaporean way of life. It appears the Singapore Government have decided to push the bar lower and expose preschoolers to NS.
Do you think children should be exposed to the NS indoctrination and at such a young age?