Updated: 04/26/2014 01:39

Defence feedback channel ACCORD to be expanded and restructured

Defence feedback channel ACCORD to be expanded and restructured

More groups will be roped in to boost the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence, or ACCORD - a community feedback committee on National Service issues. 

They will include representatives from schools, businesses and families. 

The Council will also be restructured into one main committee, and three sub-committees. 

Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing announced this during an ACCORD's visit to the newly opened Multi-Mission Range Complex near Pasir Laba Camp today. 

"In the past, the ACCORD takes on a lot of roles and groups are very diverse. Going forward, we think that we need more focused attention on each of the groups, which is why we want to enlarge ACCORD and each of the sub-committee, so that we can discuss the topics in detail and provide good suggestions for us to move forward. The level will be much deeper than what we've done in the past." 

Dr Yek Tiew Ming, principal of Institute of Technical Education or ITE College West, is a representative of the education sector. 

He says the inclusion of schools will encourage ACCORD to be more than a feedback channel. 

"How they view national service, what they fear about national service, or how they look forward to national service, I think the schools have a lot of influence, and the schools have a lot of roles to play. The ACCORD role that we play can influence and engage our students better." 

ACCORD members currently represent stakeholders such as grassroots, and employers. 

At the same visit, Minister of State for Defence, Dr Maliki Osman says the Government is looking to enhance the use of National Service Recognition Award or NSRA. 

"They go through different life cycles. The moment they ORD, some go to continue their studies, some go to work. We're going to see how they exercise their flexibility, how they can exercise this fund, so that at all different times of their lives, they have a stake, be it education, housing, as well as healthcare needs." 

The NSRA is a monetary award of between $9,000 and $10,500. 

It is credited to each NSman's Central Provident Fund account at the completion of the serviceman's Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) training cycle. 

Currently, servicemen can use the grant for further education or housing.

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