As of the fall, upper secondary schools will be required to offer defense education courses. As a result, the Defense League will have to contribute more to the organization of defense education field programs and for that, raise additional funds, while the government will have to train more defense instructors.
Beginning in 2022, the Defense League will be required to organize field programs for students studying national defense in high school.
156 students from Järva County and Tallinn consolidate their national defense knowledge at a field camp in Nurms. The students interviewed told "AK" they are in favor making mandatory the current voluntary national defense education.
Hans Johannes Kark, an 11th-grader at Tallinn's 21st School, said that than half of his classmates have gone through national defense training already.
Eviita Isma, an 11th-grader at Türi High School (Türi Ühisgümnaasium), said that defense skills are useful in daily life.
The most popular elective at the Türi high school is defense. Making defense classes mandatory in the fall does not impose any additional obligations on the school and the school is free to decide whether to teach it in the 10th, 11th or 12th grade.
Katrin Puusepp, the director, said instructors have always brought their own educational material and their salaries have never been an issue. "I would not say that the school will incur any more expenses," she said.
Field camps in Järva County are organized by the Järva unit of the Defense League and due to the low number of high school pupils in the county, they are conducted in conjunction with Tallinn high schools.
"This is paid for by the Defense League and there are never too many supplies," Captain Lauri Lipp, head of the Järva unit of the Defense League, said. "We have volunteers who cook, both from the Women's Defense League and, if necessary, from the Defense Forces."
Aare Sutt, the coordinator of the Defense League's field camps, said if national defense education becomes mandatory, they will need to find additional resources for field training.
"The biggest part of this work will not begin until September 2024, so we have enough time to plan step-by-step and think about teacher training. We are applying for more resources, together with the Defense Resources Agency. But the Defense League is up to the challenge, and we will do fine." he said.
Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa