A CHILD is a developing human being.
Consciousness of self and his/her sex appear at six weeks in the womb.
Throughout the rest of the period before birth, a foetus grows all the organs, including ovaries in females and reaches organismic fullness at approximately nine months.
This means a child knows his/her sex and uses the organs and limbs long before birth.
In ancient Asia, it was during this period, beginning in the 7th week of gestation that the human soul was believed to enter the body, communicate with God and receive assignments on what to achieve on earth.
He/she adopts tastes for certain foods, beverages and music from what the mother used to eat, drink and listen to pre-birth.
This shows that the teaching of a child is essential from the very early stages of conception until adulthood.
A child is thought little of because he/she is misunderstood.
The head is relatively oversized and disproportional to the body as compared to other mammals.
This is because of the human being’s massive brain size which exceeds that of all other primates.
Calves walk a few minutes after being born and puppies, after a few days.
However, it takes close to a year for the human child’s body to grow and acquire enough strength to carry and balance the head.
Clumsiness is thus attributed to a child yet the brain is sharp and ready to absorb information like a dry sponge on water.
He/she scrutinises speech patterns, sounds, light, reflection and images.
He/she feels objects, tastes them, hits them on the ground to hear how they sound and throws them to see if they bounce or break.
The child will be trying to master the environment the same way as in the womb.
Thumb-sucking and kicking were moves learnt prenatally but now are required to talk, eat, walk and do other things outside the womb.
To aid this learning process are releases of excessive amounts of dopamine.
This is a neuro transmitter which is also behind the feelgood vibe that people get after accomplishing a task, undergoing high physical activity or taking psychoactive narcotics.
Drugs like cannabis are therefore nicknamed ‘dope’, after dopamine.
It is dopamine that makes children entertain themselves and laugh on their own.
A child yearns to learn and in so doing mimics his/her parents, beginning with the mother, and then people, creatures or manmade things like machines that are in its environment.
It has been found that a human’s natural daily dose of dopamine levels drop as he/she gets older.
The teach ability index of the human also drops as a result, rendering them less absorptive of information than they were as babies.
While still young, learning things like swimming and other activities like riding bikes is essential because learning does not get any easier as people get older.
When children are in their teens, they often become curious of life beyond childhood because they begin experiencing some physical changes.
For example, the deepening of the voice and growth of facial hair for males and the beginning of menstrual cycles, growth of breasts and the expansion of hips for females.
Adolescence can be a very dangerous period in a child’s life because peer pressure and other influences like media can, if left unregulated, influence him/her negatively.
The child is beginning to look like an adult, but still has a mind that is yet to mature and develop.
This is the ‘make or break’ stage which requires close scrutiny by guardians.
There then comes a time when the child develops into an adult.
This begins between the ages of 16 and 18 and, at this age, a child can begin voting, driving vehicles and receiving employment.
Some start drinking and smoking and, if imprisoned, would be tried as adults.
The society, though accepting of the child’s young age, believes that by this age, a human would have become mature enough to be entrusted with important tasks and responsibilities.
Many forgo studying altogether at this point, with exception to those who pursue higher learning.
Yet this is a point when adolescence begins to phase out.
This point of our youth is a perfect time to indoctrinate them on serious matters like the nation’s history, expectations and our worldview.
Before this period, related ideology should be encapsulated in the syllabi to make ready the mind.
As youths, vigorous, as opposed to moderate, physical training needs to be done.
This is for one to discover his/her full capacity or potential in fighting, running, climbing, crawling, jumping and other things.
One also needs to learn discipline; a thing that many lack later stages of development.
This objective of producing fit, patriotic, disciplined and skilled humans can be achieved by introducing mandatory national youth service.
The time between finishing high school and starting university is a chance to rest and apply for jobs or school vacancies.
Thus, it is not the most appropriate time for undergoing national youth service.
After receiving employment or attending university, it even becomes harder to find time to go for national youth service.
Another problem is that Zimbabwe has no financial capacity to fund a mandatory national youth service programme.
But it is because the programme, which was known as ‘Border Gezi’ and is currently located in Dadaya, Zvishavane, is centralised.
If we follow the Chinese model, the issue of funding becomes irrelevant.
Yes, China has compulsory national youth service which guarantees that their youths remain patriotic and aware of their history and worldview.
Instead of letting people come to a centralised venue for training, the Chinese mandatorily attend national youth service at any and every university in the first semester of their first year.
The Chinese freshmen all wear flat Tommy shoes and blue fatigue as opposed to the army’s military green.
After finishing the programme, they wear civic clothing along with the sophomores, juniors and seniors.
The expenses are covered concurrently by the student’s tuition, and accommodation because the programme will be uniformly taught at schools by the national youth service staff.
The importance of national youth service cannot be under stressed.
Without it, you have no tried and tested civilians to serve the nation.
Besides soldiers, policemen and other security forces, regular citizens must be human reserves who can be mobilised and quickly militarised in times of trouble.
In China, each university graduate undergoes national youth service and is therefore a standby national security asset incase the designated security forces are overwhelmed.
The US goes on massive propaganda campaigns and gives out grants, perks and favours to young people who join the national army, air force, navy or marines.
In Israel, military training is mandatory for all males and females.
Why then should Zimbabwe refrain from equipping her citizens with the necessary training and ideology to serve their nation.
The stage of partaking in higher learning, before one is permanently employed or settles down to start a family, is the most appropriate time to render national youth service.
One can thereafter be confident that the citizens who enter society after undergoing this training and indoctrination will teach their children, associates and colleagues things that will benefit their nation and decrease the prevalence of espionage, treason, sabotage, corruption and brain drain in the country.