Wednesday, November 23, 2011

National Service!

So apparently National Service will be coming back anytime now. Anytime. So while we wait the obligatory decade for this plan to come to fruition, I thought I would play around a bit with the idea. I actually love national service and think it is a shame that it was abolished. I would have gone for it, and if it is revived I might just take a gap year to get fit and cruise around the countryside if they let non-youth volunteers in.

Dar traffic is becoming horrendous. The city is full of young people whose idea of democracy is to complain, agitate for an armed revolt and then suggest that we import Kagame to run us like a boarding school. There is no reasoning with this mix of desperation, misinformation and youthful hubris. Our politicians have lied to us about how much personal agency we have to change our society WITHOUT them. So yes: National Service gets my vote. Why not direct all that frustrated ambition and drive somewhere interesting. Coming to an East African near you:
"National Service is a good idea for one primary reason: it could be the institution that gives Tanzanian youth practical skills as well as that sense of achievement and success that comes from hard, constructive work. Let's face it, the education system is nowhere close to offering them that opportunity. In theory, schools are meritocracies: you play the game right and do well, you get rewarded. You play the game poorly, you get penalized with bad grades and dubious employment prospects. In reality, the Tanzanian public education system is a finely honed machine that is designed to destroy all belief in the relationships between hard work, success and fair play. Too often graduates are cast out into the wilderness of adult life with partial skills, and the dawning horror that these may not be enough to conquer their world."
Besides, I continue to be disenchanted with the culture of complaint so... since 'tis the season and merry and all that, I plan to spend the rest of the year being cheerful online if it kills me. Grinches, you have been warned: offline sessions please for offloading of misanthropic feelings. Sixteen days to Independence and counting...

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