THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

Singaporean mother requests for NSFs to enter university earlier

Posted by temasektimes on June 23, 2012

A concerned Singaporean mother Han Tiew Siew has written to the Straits Times Forum requesting for full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) to enter university earlier after completing their National Service.

All Singapore-born males have to serve two years of National Service which causes them to enter university and the workforce two years later than their female peers.

In her letter, Mrs Han wrote that as A-level students who enlist in January/February typically complete their full-time national service in November the following year – their operationally ready date (ORD), it has caused them unnecessary delays in starting their tertiary education in Singapore and overseas:

“Unfortunately, this is about one or two months after most of the universities in the northern hemisphere have begun their semesters. Their foreign peers usually start school in August, while Singaporean students begin attending classes in January. This effectively disadvantages our male students as they are practically three years behind their foreign counterparts, or two years behind their local female peers, to graduation.”

She urged the Central Manpower Base under MINDEF to consider looking at ways to eliminate the gap months:

“I hope the Central Manpower Base will seriously look into how to eliminate the gap months in order to allow full-time national servicemen (NSFs) to enrol in universities earlier.”

While Singaporean males have to serve NS, foreign male students studying in Singapore need not do so and enter the workforce earlier. They also do not have burdensome reservist obligations which give them an advantage over locals in an increasingly tight labor market.

10 Responses to “Singaporean mother requests for NSFs to enter university earlier”

  1. russell said

    doesnt she know that she can submit a request to CMPB for an early release date of ORD for potential overseas Uni studies? You would need to submit the application to the Uni first and then another request to his Unit. Mrs Han, please call the NS CALL CENTRE for enquiries. There are helpline that can really help u…. But then all over eager parents wants that for their precious!!!!

    • Stephen said

      I am not sure this policy still applies. My son is exactly in the same situation as the writer Han Tiew Siew. I have appealed to CMPB twice and have taken my appeal all the way to the Minister of Defence. All I got is a polite reply informing me that “Mindef has considered my request but is unable to accede to it”. My frustration is that such changes in policy are never explained to the public! I fully agreed that Mindef should take into consideration the different commencement date for overseas universities to let such students release a few months earlier. After all the sacrifices that Singaporeans are going through, is this too much to ask when there is so much disparity in treatment between locals and PRs?

  2. yuantai said

    one possible suggestion for the A level Jan/Mar batches: to complete the 9mth-1yr training for commanders and to fulfil the balance during their 2-3mth university vacation? how about the poly batch in mar/june? NS has already been shortened from 2.5yr to 2yr or less now (depending on PES) and i’m not sure about the feasibility of such suggestions.

  3. Joey said

    As additional information, for certain vocations usually at HQ sides, NSFs are able to apply for disruption of their service of not longer than 2 months if they have secured a place in any of the 3 Local Universities (SMU, NTU & NUS) or if they have scholarships or enough money to study abroad, there is a separate undisclosed list of approved foreign universities. Once again, discriminating against those who did not do so well in their studies and may want to continue their studies at for example SIM, MDIS, Kaplan etc.

  4. StopComplaining said

    They serve less than 2 years leh still complain so much for what! The early release for overseas studies already killed off by too many ppl spoild market

  5. Jack said

    sorry, I don’t agree with the mother’s request, we are doing at National Service, it is a very important service for Singapore, what will it be deteroriated to if eveyone starts to request for their own convenience.

    On the other hand, if new citizen need not serve NS, and can even become an MP, then, I guess there is nothing unreasonable for above the mother’s request

    What do you think?

  6. Joe said

    Why not ask for 12 years deferment… Some ppl got it…

  7. Tommy Yeo said

    Does she know that poly students complete studies in feb and wait for enlistment that is June to November which means they will ORD as late as September. That’s effectively waiting 4-8 months before ns and waiting 1 full year after ORD if one does not disrupt. A lvl students got it better. So shut the f up.

  8. Singaporean who served 2.5 years NS said

    Simple. Revert NSF service to 2.5 years. They will ORD around the same time schools starts.

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