SINGAPORE - A new Home Team Corps Council, comprising senior officials from the police force, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and Education Ministry, will now oversee both the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) and National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC).
Previously, although the NPCC Act allowed the authorities to establish, organise, and administer police cadet corps units in schools, there was no such act for the NCDCC, which was established in 2005.
Parliament brought the two school uniform groups under the same body by passing the Home Team Corps Bill on Tuesday (July 4). The new law repealed the NPCC Act.
The new rules and council to be formed will help bring about "efficiency in the common administration of NCDCC and NPCC," said Senior Minister of State for Education Dr Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Tuesday.
It will also provide platforms for both groups of cadets to have deeper collaborations, he added.
Among the three MPs who spoke in support of the bill was Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC), who asked about non-Singaporeans who wish to join the cadet corps, as their applications will need to be approved.
In response, Dr Janil said about 11 per cent of the NCDCC and NPCC cadets are permanent residents or non-citizens.
Mr Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC) suggested that both co-curricular activities be allowed for primary schools as well, instead of just in secondary schools, as this means students can have longer service terms, and be encouraged to join the police force or SCDF eventually.
"With the growing threat of terrorism, it would be beneficial to build a core pool of cadets with a good understanding of the operations, management, and needs of our Home Team forces. They, in turn, can help to cultivate security and safety awareness and alertness among their peers," added Mr Yong.
Meanwhile, Mr Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC) suggested a more integrated curriculum for NPCC and NCDCC cadets, suggesting that they be trained in each others' disciplines.
Dr Janil said these are issues that the new Home Team Corps Council could look into.