Govt eyes new system

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013

 THE Government plans to set up a compulsory national service programme in the country based on the Israeli model, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

He told FM 100’s Talkback Show on Tuesday that Israel was a small country with a population of about 7.5 million, similar to Papua New Guinea, but was much disciplined because of the programme.

“It is compulsory and thousands and thousands of Israelis go through the process,” O’Neill said.

“It teachers them discipline and at the same time gives them skills for life. The army basically takes charge of these young people.”

O’Neill said Government officers were discussing with Israel how to set up Papua New Guinea’s national service programme.

“That will take at least a year or so to put together,” he said.

“It’s a massive programme. We can educate our kids all the way up to Grade 12, when they are about 17 or 18 years old.

“Our aim is to make sure that from 18 onwards, those who can’t get places in universities, technical colleges and other technical colleges go into compulsory national service.

“They will do two years there. We will provide them skill levels. That’s the sort of programme I want the Israelis to help us develop. It’s going to cost a lot of money.

“Our aim is to try and see if we can upgrade all the military barracks throughout the country so that we can utilise these to accommodate the kids that are going through the process.

“This is going to involve thousands and thousands of young kids. 

“We can’t do it overnight but we have to build it up for many years.”