I am glad to know that some students are eager to join uniformed groups and have strong support from their families to do so (NPCC cadet upholds family tradition; Feb 6).
However, many students do not share the same mindset. Uniformed groups often have trouble recruiting Secondary 1 students. Perhaps students tend to think that these groups are strict and regimental.
Uniformed groups do require students to be disciplined, and I would like to share some of the advantages of joining one.
First, the discipline acquired can be applied not only to the co-curricular activity itself, but also to schoolwork and life outside school. This discipline will help students focus on their tasks and avoid distractions.
With discipline, students will be more productive. Many studies have identified discipline and perseverance as key factors determining success, rather than a person's IQ.
Cadets also learn useful life skills, such as tent-pitching, outdoor cooking, first aid.
Participation in outdoor camps helps to build resilience and endurance, and encourages students to step out of their comfort zones and push their limits.
Students also have many leadership opportunities. Often, uniformed groups do not have coaches. Instead, seniors take on the role of training their juniors.
Being in a uniformed group is not all about foot drills and strict rules, and I hope that more students will take up this chance to better themselves.
Faith Teo Kai En, 15,
Secondary 4 student