All male Emirati pupils due to graduate this summer must enrol in National Service regardless of their grades, the National and Reserve Service Authority said on Wednesday.
The authority, under the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces, said pupils with grades of 90 per cent or higher, who wish to go to university, must first attend a four-month basic training course. They must also sit the Emirates Standardised Test before completing the training course, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Education.
Only pupils who pass the EmSat will be allowed to begin the university immediately after graduating from the basic training course. But they must complete the remainder of their national service on the completion of their university studies.
Pupils who earned a grade of 90 per cent or higher but did not achieve the required EmSat result, must complete the 16 months of national service training before going to university.
Previously, pupils who obtained a grade of 90 per cent or higher were able to immediately attend university and only enrolled in National Service after earning their degree.
The general command called on pupils to visit the recruitment centres across the country to complete their registration and medical examination.
Mandatory service was introduced in 2014 to boost Emiratis’ fitness and foster a sense of discipline and national identity.
It has been credited with a 75 per cent fall in crimes committed by young Emiratis between 2014 and 2017.
The most significant reduction was in fights or assaults among those aged between 18 and 30 that led to death or disability.
In total, 61 cases were reported from 2014 to 2017, down from 274 in the three years before national service was introduced.
In addition to compulsory service for men aged 18 to 30, women in the same age group can volunteer to undertake a shorter training period, as can men aged 30 to 40.
National service was undertaken for nine months when first introduced, rising to 12 months then 16 months from July 2018.