Military training program dull
Media reports say some military officers beat up high school students during a military training program in a town in Hunan province. Although some people argue that students should not be subjected to military training to avoid similar incidents, the fact is that such training programs help students to get a general idea about national defense and develop the collective spirit. The real question is how to make such training programs friendlier and more effective, says an article in China Youth Daily. Excerpts:
Many countries have compulsory military training programs for students to enhance their awareness about national security. Most Western countries are part of the scout movement. Boys and girls between the age of 6 and 20 (in separate groups) undergo training to help their physical, mental and spiritual development so that they could play constructive roles in society. They are also taught basic military skills, especially survival skills.
China introduced the military training program for school and college students in the 1950s. The problem is that the program, usually for two weeks, is full of monotonous activities such as physical drills, singing revolutionary songs before each meal and learning how to fold a quilt into a “tofu block”. No effort has been made to make the training sessions interesting enough to capture young people’s minds.
At the training program in the Hunan town, the military officers— who later turned out to be belligerent elements from the reserve force— were reportedly drunk when they beat up the students. This shows there was no supervision over the selection of officers for the program.
Perhaps military officers themselves need to undergo some training on how to deal with youngsters who are not recruits, and only those qualified for the task should be selected to train students. And training sessions should be designed in ways that keep students’ mind and body occupied. If the practice of teaching mechanized physical exercise continues, the training program will be just a waste of time both for students and military officers.