For this year’s JC2 SG Perspectives (SGP), the college had the honour of hosting Senior Minister of State for Defence, Mr Heng Chee How (SMS Heng), who shared with us about the impact of digitalisation on Singapore and the importance of Total Defence as the nation makes further strides into the digital economy. The format of this year’s engagement was that of a hybrid mode – half the JC2 cohort were present with SMS Heng in the Hall for a face-to-face dialogue, while the rest attended the engagement session via Zoom virtual conferencing in their respective homerooms.
In preparation for the event, the college’s National Education & Service Learning (NESL) committee put together a preparatory Civics lesson so that JC2 students could explore the topic in greater depth and consolidate the questions that each class had for SMS Heng.
The engagement session started off with SMS Heng’s opening speech on ‘Total Defence for a Digital Economy’. After that, students were tasked to discuss one of two questions crafted by both NESL committee and MINDEF in their allocated groups, and collated key points of their discussions on a virtual platform, Padlet. During this time, a number of groups had the honour of interacting with SMS Heng, who moved around the Hall to observe the rich discussions that were taking place. At the end of the discussion, three groups were selected to present their views to the rest of the cohort. The engagement session ended with SMS Heng’s closing speech and the Question and Answer session, where he answered a few questions posed by our students.
It was truly a refreshing experience for our JC2 cohort, being able to engage in lively face-to-face interactions and stimulating discussions after two and a half years of virtual conferencing brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.