Reform Party to Bring Defense Studies to Schools ({{commentsTotal}})

A council of Reform Party regional leaders, board members, MPs and ministers have proposed creating a secondary school with an emphasis on defense studies.

“It would probably be for those young people who might, in the future, want to work for the Estonian Defense Forces as an officer. So that they would begin to understand the field, which they are interested, as early as possible,” Foreign Minister Urmas Paet told ERR radio on Saturday, adding that the school would teach a very wide range of topics, from foreign policy matters to detailed aspects of the Defense Forces.

Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform Party) said the school should be build in Tartu, as the city has the best educational environment in the country and the school could cooperate with the Baltic Defense College and the National Defense College, both located in Estonia's second largest city.

He said one proposal was to reinstate defense studies in all secondary schools in Estonia, which would prepare graduates for conscription or give those who will not serve some contact with the field of state defense.

The party also proposed paying reserve soldiers called up for military exercises the full amount they would have earned while working.

The current level of pay is between 27 and 40 euros per day, before tax, roughly in the same brackets as the nation's average salary.

The party said they will add a host of defense related promises to their 2015 parliamentary election program, including voluntary two-week defense courses, compulsory defense studies in high schools, and the funding of allied troops stationed in Estonia.