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.