Equal places | Sunday Observer

Equal places

We now live in a world where gender is merely a word to classify people in forms and documents. In the real world, the gender gap in terms of life's struggles is not that wide. In such a situation, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) has provided an equal place for school boys and girls.

Cadetting was open to girls for many years, but it certainly was an important step when separate battalions for girls was started in 2014. For the nine provinces of the country, nine battalions were established.

25th Battalion – North Western Province

26th Battalion – Western Province

27th Battalion – Southern Province

28th Battalion – Central Province

29th Battalion - Sabaragamuwa Province

30th Battalion – Northern Province

31st Battalion – Eastern Province

32nd Battalion – North Central Province

33rd Battalion – Uva Province

As discussed at length in a previous article, there is a syllabus for cadets where physical training is included as a subject. The syllabus also covers among other subjects, soft skills development, leadership training and boosting self confidence.

There is a lot to gain from cadetting, especially for girls. Living in a society full of challenges, which girls or rather women have to face alone, cadet training will produce stronger women with more self-confidence.

For girls, cadetting is a way to enjoy their lives which are filled with exams and tuition. The camp at Rantembe provides them a lifetime opportunity to meet new friends, learn new skills and of course a more interesting way than their stereotype day to day living.

At Rantembe, each platoon consisting of 25 boys or girls receives a separate billet for their stay. In there, they are supposed to clean the house and surroundings for which they receive marks. When inspectors visit these billets, every inch is checked for cleanliness. For instance, they wipe the edges of the walls using a white cloth to see whether there is dust on the walls. The girls and boys who score high marks at Rantembe, show nothing but discipline in every bit of their life styles, one could say.

A good example of their achievements beyond cadetting is that they are at the frontline in school activities. As widely noted by NCC HQ officers, most of the cadets are prefects in school, thanks to the leadership qualities gained in training at Rantembe.

According to NCC Headquarters data, girl cadetting is wide spread in the Western, Southern, Central and North Western Provinces. However, there is now an emerging trend where girls from the Northern and Eastern Provinces are taking to cadetting, as their problems in life are also mammoth.

Special thanks – NCC HQ