….Training should be prerequisite for NSFAF funding and GRN employment
A section within the youth wing of the ruling party wants government to introduce mandatory National Youth Service training for all Namibian youth immediately after they complete Grade 12 as a prerequisite to secure funding from Namibia Students Financial Aid Fund. Although not new, the call for such training has been making rounds in the country but the modalities as to how it should be implemented were never investigated. “We appeal to the National Youth Council Leadership again to move towards making National Youth Service Training a mandatory undertaking for all Namibian Youth immediately after Grade 12 and as a prerequisite in securing funding from NSFAF, for placement in our Tertiary Education facilities (Universities & VTCs) and as well for employment in GRN,” said SPYL’s Khomas regional secretary for secretary for information, publicity and mobilization Sam Hamupolo recently. According to Hamupolo, such training will) will instil self-discipline, self-confidence, institutional loyalty, national pride, allegiance and mould the youth to be responsible citizens. “We congratulate the National Youth Council for showing leadership in the formation of the National Youth Agenda.
After several calls from the SPYL and also being one of us, Cde Mandela Kapere and his team wasted no time in coming up with the modalities to the initiative,” he said. Hamupolo also said the youth demand a quota and grooming system in all leadership structures in the country that are youth friendly and purposefully based on succession and continuation. Executive Director of the National Youth Council Mandela Kapere this week during an interview said the proposal is not new to the NYC, adding that a study to determine the advantages and disadvantages of such a programme was conducted this year. Kapere said the outcome of the study will be made public once the youth minister Jerry Ekandjo has perused the report. The National Youth Service welcomed the proposal but indicated that it would require a lot of financial resources and law changes. NYS Commissioner Onesmus Upindi said the programme will come with challenges.
“Of course we cannot say people must undergo the training to qualify for a job in government if we cannot accommodate all of them at the centre, those are some of the things that must be sorted out. We have travelled to some countries to see how they run the programme, so we have an idea of how it should be managed,” said Onesmus who pointed out that civil service training centres should not be mistaken for rehabilitation centres. “It is not our duty to discipline people, ours is to instil a sense of pride and responsibility within our trainees,” he said. Upindi concurred with SPYL that mandatory civil service training will be crucial when it comes to nation building. “In a country of 2 million people we should not be struggling for resources and we should be more accommodating. Currently there is too much prejudice because of the separate background, be it ethnic or tribal, such training will expose our young people to different backgrounds and help them understand that we are all one,” he said.
Civil service abroad
Countries such as Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey are among some of the countries that provide mandatory civil service training. The civil service range from combat roles to intelligence and logistic work. Different genders are frequently given different responsibilities. In Israel, for example, males usually perform 3 years of combat/security service, while females perform two years of non-combat service. Many nations grapple with the question of mandatory military service, including the United States. Proponents believe it increases the strength of the military, strengthens the character of youth, and increases the collective conscience of a nation and the restraint of leaders when considering military action. Opponents consider it an affront to individual liberties, a risk in breeding militarism and the dominance of the state, and simply unnecessary when voluntary armies can be sufficient.