Students raise concern over 'cool' syllabus

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 05 Nov 2003


PETALING JAYA: The “cool” image created for the National Service Programme has generated excitement among the youth. 

However, the content of the programme was the main concern among those interviewed by The Star yesterday. 

Mahendran Appadurai, who will turn 18 next year and be eligible for the inaugural National Service Programme, said the range of uniforms, together with the National Service logo and anthem unveiled by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on Monday “were indeed appealing”. 

There are three sets of uniforms, one each for the three modules – physical training, classroom activities on patriotism and citizenship studies, and community service. 

“I have always thought it very ‘cool’ to wear a military-inspired uniform. I like the high boots and the sound it makes when marching. 

“However, looking cool is one thing, enduring the programme is another. I had a rather bad experience with a three-day cadet camp last year. I suffered from bad food and a lack of sleep,” said the Form Five student of SMK Raja Mahadi, Klang. 

Choo Dee Lern, 17, said image was important but youngsters have to see beyond the “look” to uncover the true meaning of the programme, which is meant to instil patriotism, national integration and volunteerism. 

“I hope more details on the syllabus of the programme will be revealed,” said Choo, who is with the BRATs (Bright Roving Annoying Teens), The Star’s young journalist programme. 

Another BRAT, Form Five student Toh Li Shean, said the idea of looking “cool” was very individual and subjective. 

“I do not like uniforms but if I am selected to undergo the programme, I will go with an open mind.'' 

Youth Academy chairman Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah welcomed the “young and cool” image, adding it would appeal to the youths. 

“But the most appealing element will be the community service, and its implementation is of utmost importance,” said Saifuddin.  

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