Mandatory Labor Service
MLS – also known as Mandatory Labor Service – became one of the first amendments to the Constitution when it was realized the republic would consistently suffer from a shortage of manpower in even the most basic fields of endeavor. Accordingly, in the early fifties it was determined that all school children from grades one to twelve, and university students pursuing their first degrees should become active contributors to the society of which they are a crucial part. The Mandatory Services Act was thus passed, mandating compulsory civil and military service.
Mandatory Labor Service places students within specific sectors of the economy for set periods of time each year. The obligations of children are geared toward their age groups and range from simple tasks like sorting products, cleaning parks, milking cows, etc., to more labor intensive jobs such as work in farm fields and on factory assembly lines. These job placements generally last no more than one month and are worked into the school year—though in the case of farm work they are frequently assigned during the yearly vacation period. In some cases students may find their labour stints deferred to consecutive Saturdays over the space of a year – rather than in a block of thirty days as may be required.
While the academic year in Haven has been adapted to best suit the needs of the economy, it still tends to mimic the traditions established before the Fall.