Recently there has been a change in the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) criteria which has trimmed down the five stations previously consisting of chin-ups, standing broad jump (SBJ), sit-ups, shuttle run and 2.4km run to just three stations which include sit-ups, push-ups and 2.4km run.
Also, there will not be pass marks for the individual stations, meaning that if one does badly at one station, points from other stations can be used to compensate for that station.
The change in system was to help more NSmen pass their IPPT yearly, especially those who have struggled with standing broad jump (SBJ) and have remained zero fighters for chin-ups.
As with every change that affect us Singaporeans, there are people who take it positively and negatively. Those who are struggling to pass the stations will definitely feel some form of relief, as this change was targeted at them. We all understand that NSmen may face certain difficulties training for IPPT due to their hectic study or work schedules. Who doesn’t want to pass IPPT and forget about it until the following year? No one wants to waste their time training for Remedial Training (RT) if they can pass it in one attempt. That said, I am pretty sure that this change is welcomed by the majority who have difficulties passing the stations.
Of course, there will be critics and people who are hesitant about this change, after all the details aren’t released yet. Whether it will be tougher or not, we can’t say for sure but looking on the bright side, there has finally been a change.
There is speculation that the push-ups will not be simple push-ups but might take on different variations.
Seriously, there is no need for speculation. Just wait for the news. When the facts are out and you have your facts right, then you can start to discuss about the pros and cons.
People who have consistently gotten silver or gold might question whether this change will lower their chances of receiving these rewards. Honestly, if you have always maintained that standard of fitness, you don’t have to be worried about this right?
If you think that the rewards might become non-existant, I think it won’t be very likely. There needs to be certain standards set or motivations in place. It just depends on what these standards are and how high they are.
Us, Singaporeans, like to complain about everything. We complain that the current IPPT system is difficult to pass because we don’t have time to train for it. Some stations like standing broad jump (SBJ) need technique which we don’t have or the station itself has no practical uses.
Now the government has finally heard the cries of our NSmen (through the statistics) and changed the IPPT system and yet still we complain.
Some say that with the change in IPPT system, our NSmen are becoming less fit, less able to protect the country. Is that really the case? If the stations removed were that important as a gauge of fitness, why do you think the US Army isn’t using it? Do note that the 3 remaining stations are similar to what the US Army is using.
I believe that before we judge the system, we should put ourselves in the shoes of the government and think on their behalf. It is no easy means coming up with a holistic set of stations for IPPT. Make it too difficult and the lives of NSmen will be agonising, not to mention the very bad statistics. Make it too easy and there will be people complaining that they fail to maintain the fitness of our NSmen.
Whatever the change, let’s just do our best to cope with it. After all, the change is intended to benefit us. C’mon Singaporeans, we have coped with other changes, let not a change in IPPT system bring so much complaints.
Credits to SGAG for the photographs.
Writer: Samuel Low