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Thread: National Service?

  1. #1
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Default National Service?

    One of the ideas coming out of the london riots is that all 16 year olds should do several weeks of National Service. Originally, National Service meant serving for a little while in the army. However, in this instance it looks as though it will be used to perform civil services in improving the life of their local community.

    So is it a good idea, is forcing kids to perform something that will benefit the community, an exercise in futility or will they learn something from it.

    Would it be better if they were forced to join the army or carry out longer periods of public service?

    What are your thoughts?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  2. #2
    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    I think National Service is a great idea. Especially when it is not locked into the military only.

    I think some regimented training and group efforts might be even more important in today's world of Internet remoteness from community.

  3. #3
    Oliphaunt
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    This is one of those ideas that I think sounds good in theory, but I can't figure out if it would work in practice.

  4. #4
    Yes, I'm a cat. What's it to you? Muffin's avatar
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    Probably easier to build a volunteer component into the regular school programs than to set up a separate national service program.

  5. #5
    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    How about everybody, including those proposing it, has to do national service? I don't know what British schools are like with regard to this, but as Muffin suggests, perhaps a volunteering element could be included in high school activities. I know kids who do transition year here do some activities like that but most kids don't do that year.

  6. #6
    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Actually more and more high schools in the US have a Community Service requirement to graduate but this is not quite the same as a more formal National Service.

  7. #7
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Orual View post
    This is one of those ideas that I think sounds good in theory, but I can't figure out if it would work in practice.
    I'm with you. In theory, I like it. In practice, the cost, the inevitable bitter debate over what is and is not proper service, and the even more inevitable resentment/distraction/rebellion by a substantial number of those youth participating make me wonder if it would be even worth the trouble

  8. #8
    Clueless but well-meaning Hatshepsut's avatar
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    I'm for it. National service should be required of everyone. If people want to do 2 years of military service, that's fine, but there should be good alternative service options available.

    Of course it presents logistical problems, but so do most government programs. Heck, we can manage a military draft and a war or two, and we've at least contemplated universal health care! Besides, other countries do it all the time. Egypt has a mandatory military service for all young men, and I honestly believe it was one of the factors that kept the country from total destruction during the recent unrest. Remember all the reports from the time, commenting on the relative restraint of the police and saying that the military and the protestors didn't seem to have much appetite for murdering each other? That's because they WERE each other - fellow citizens one and all.

  9. #9
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Orual View post
    This is one of those ideas that I think sounds good in theory, but I can't figure out if it would work in practice.
    Yeah, I'd agree.

    My college required a community service project before you could graduate, but other than one woman who ended up working for the Boys and Girls Club because of the experience it didn't seem to either do any good or change anyone's attitudes or feelings. The majority of seniors ended up doing less than the bare minimum for the requirement, being there bodily so no one could argue they didn't show up but not actually doing anything. I suppose it had an effect on me in that I still remember the experience and the kids I worked with, but it just seemed like such a tiny, token effort.

  10. #10
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    such kind of ideas are good if they are implemented really... only paper work and theory is not sufficient.
    veronica hearst

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