New council to oversee civil defence, police cadets

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 civil defence cadet corps, which was established in 2005.

Parliament brought the two school uniformed groups under the same body when it passed the Home Team Corps Bill yesterday. The new law repealed the NPCC Act.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 Janil Puthucheary.

It will also provide platforms for both groups of cadets to have deeper collaborations, he added.

Among the 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. In response, Dr Janil said about 11 per cent of the cadets in both groups 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.

Meanwhile, Mr Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC) suggested a more integrated curriculum for the cadets, recommending that they be trained in each other's disciplines.

Dr Janil said these were issues the new council could look into.

Seow Bei Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2017, with the headline 'New council to oversee civil defence, police cadets'. Print Edition | Subscribe