NS training becomes vocational training?

NS training moving from patriotism to remedial education?

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced changes to the National Service Training Programme that would substantially alter its purpose and structure. After running for 11 years and having trained a claimed 800,000 individuals, the programme was suspended in January 2015 as a cost-saving measure by the prime minister; apparently the suspension saved the government RM400 million.

A few months later in April 2015, Hishammuddin said that a new version of the programme will be reinstituted in 2016 with changes to make it more cost effective and efficient. A pilot programme based on the new version will be conducted with 400 school leavers in October 2015.

Version 2 of the NS programme will be shortened to eight weeks from the original 12 weeks, mainly to reduce costs. According to media reports, the proposed shorter training will bring down the per-student training cost from RM8000 to RM5000.

The content of the training is also being revised. The original programme was made up of five modules of instruction namely (i) physical, (ii) nation building, (iii) character building, (iv) nationalism and (v), a minor module). This will now be replaced by a two-phase programme.

Phase 1 will be made up of five modules with titles like, Fit4life; Tech & Talk; Malaysia; Be Safe and Be Alert; iUpgrade and three sub-modules, on Spirituality, Volunteerism and MyFuture. Phase 2 will constitute skills training. According to the Minister, coaches for Phase 2 will be trained at skills training institutions. Somewhere in the process, an English language enhancement course is also being added.

NS training moving from patriotism to remedial education?
24/10/15 – malaysiakini


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