NSFs will get unlimited free access to 75,000 online courses to help them prepare for work or further study

SINGAPORE – Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) will get unlimited free access to more than 75,000 online courses from November 1 to better prepare them for work or further education after national service (NS).

NSFs can register at any time during the NS and their account will be valid for two years.

They can choose courses from around 135 categories which will be available on the e-learning platform.

These include courses such as Python Machine Learning used for software coding, management skills training, and digital photography courses.

There are also courses that will lead to credit exemptions for several programs at institutes of higher learning like polytechnics and universities.

The new initiative is the result of a partnership between the Ministry of Defense (Mindef) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), together with the NTUC LearningHub and the NTUC Employment and Employability Institute or e2i.

Called [email protected] Learning eXperience Platform, it will replace the current electronic pre-release employment program (e-Prep), which was introduced in 2003 and offered 3,000 courses.

e-Prep also only allowed a fixed amount of credits to be used by NSFs, capped at $350 and made available in the last 12 months of full-time NS – to be used up to one year after a soldier has become operational.

NSF Tan Aik Chong, 20, who enlisted in January last year, said he was looking forward to using the platform to hone his programming skills.

Now a lieutenant in the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF), he said he would enroll in classes before starting next year at Nanyang Technological University to study computer science.

He said, “In computing, it’s important to know how to use programming code. The new platform helps me get ahead of the game and keep up with my peers.

“I am also happy to be able to freely choose the courses I want to take.”

In a joint statement, Mindef and MHA said the new initiative will also allow NSFs to create and track their personalized learning paths, with personalized course recommendations based on their preferred jobs and newly learned skills.