Friday, 24 April 2009

voluntary military service

you may have heard about the proposal for a military gap year for school leavers being discussed in the media recently. apparently one of the benefits of such service would be the salary earned by students, which could be put towards their study expenses. to which the tertiary education union has the best response:

“It’s outrageous that the government has seemingly given up on the widely accepted goal that tertiary education should be accessible to all on the basis of ability rather than wallet size”, said Ms Riggs, in response. “If the government really wants more people to study, then why not pay for it directly rather than telling people they should first spend a year or so in the military?”

i have deeper concerns about our young people going into the military. first of all, it doesn't appear to be an enviroment that is particularly woman-friendly, although it has no doubt been improving in recent years. no doubt some of the skills gained would be useful, but it would be much more useful to take up volunteering in the community (link is to a discussion on radio nz). it's a better way to build up community spirit and a sense of belonging, while helping those in need.

i'm just not a fan of military service, although i know that some people have to do it. i'd much rather we got our population to do peace studies than military service. how about we train everyone in the arts of mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution instead.

5 comments:

muerk said...

I'm really keen on volunteering rather than military service. I think it would be an excellent way for young people leaving school to see life and have a window into the lives of others or to do something that helps our environment.

Brenda said...

while I really don't like giving militant education year to our young people, i'd be pleased to see more women in our armed forces, and this could help.

Anonymous said...

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that women in the armed forces would somehow make them less violent and less likely to abuse people... the army with the highest rate of female participation in the world is the Israeli Army

AWicken said...

"apparently one of the benefits of such service would be the salary earned by students, which could be put towards their study expenses"

Hang on - isn't this a dodge? I mean the voluntary 10% repayment rate hasn't stopped the loan levels skyrocketing, so they're trying to con 17 and 18 year olds into paying 100% salary up front?

Nice that the debate is about military service, rather than arranging short term go-nowhere employment to pay for an education they might not need (or might expect a bit of cash over from a year's work).

Anonymous said...

How nice from a 9 year absence to hear our tertiary unions making announcements again!