Starting tomorrow, 22 March, all Estonian schoolchildren will be able to register for the first nationwide national defence studies competition Hakk.
According to the Defence Minister of Ministry of Defence of Estonian Republic Kalle Laanet, the aim of the competition organised by the Ministry of Defence and the University of Tartu Gifted and Talented Development Centre is to introduce the connections between the field of defence and science and to arouse interest in national defence.
‘National defence education is largely integrated with mathematics, physics, history, geography and social studies’, Laanet noted. ‘Creating connections and thinking like an engineer are extremely important in the field of national defence’, he added.
According to Marek Järvik, the Deputy Director of the University of Tartu Gifted and Talented Development Centre, the competition is primarily aimed at upper secondary and vocational students who may have already completed the national defence elective, although younger students who are interested in national defence topics are also invited to take part.
‘The competition is the first so-called litmus test, with which students’ knowledge of national defence is compared and, in turn, the effectiveness of the work of national defence instructors is measured’, said Järvik. He added that the national defence competition is a so-called pilot project, i.e. in the case of great interest, a national defence Olympiad could be organized in the future.
According to Laanet, people with analytical skills and critical thinking skills are always needed in national defence, and such skills will be tested and developed in the new competition. ‘As an elective, national defence education supports the development of the social values and patriotism mentioned in the upper secondary school curriculum, ensuring that students become ethical, responsible and active members of civil society’, he added.
Järvik noted that the competition is named after an intelligent and strong-willed bird. ‘Hakk’ is also an acronym formed from the initials of the words ‘Haridus’ (‘Education’), ‘Asjatundlikkus’ (‘Expertise’), ‘Kodanikuteadlikkus’ (‘Citizen Awareness’) and Kaitsetahe (‘Will to Protect’). ‘All these words reflect the nature of the competition’, added Järvik.
The competition will take place in the form of a 45-minute web-based test in the University of Tartu’s e-learning environment Moodle, on 7 April 2021.
Today, with the support of the Ministry of Defence, national defence is taught as an elective in 131 upper secondary schools and 17 vocational education institutions.
More information about the competition: https://www.teaduskool.ut.ee/hakk
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