TALLINN – Riho Terras, member of the European Parliament and former commander of the Estonian defense forces, says that national defense education should be made a mandatory subject in Estonian schools.
Terras pointed out that citizens have the obligation to protect their country, and in a crisis situation, every Estonian should know what their role is, spokespeople for the Isamaa party said on Tuesday.
The resilience of Ukraine and the history of Estonia both demonstrate the importance of the will to defend one's country, he said.
"National defense education is largely a subject that teaches us about the state. It gives an overview of what the state is important for and what the defense forces are needed for. It also cultivates a sense of citizenship and defense will in young people. It is namely combat morale that the success of the Ukrainians against Russia to date is based on," Terras said.
"As things stand, national defense education is a voluntary subject, but it is very popular among young people and it is a success story. According to the concept of comprehensive national defense, every citizen has a role to play in ensuring national security," the former defense chief said.
He added that mandatory national defense education will ensure that our young people understand why we have national defense and the role of society and the individual in it. This will ensure that Estonian citizens are prepared to defend Estonia in a crisis.