Yesterday, October 19, 2022, FISIP Universitas Indonesia is lucky to receive the visitation of Mr. Chan Chun Sing, current Singapore’s Minister of Education. The visitation and dialogue took place in Mochtar Riady Hall, FISIP UI. The moderator for the dialogue session is Ms. Dwi Ardhanariswari Sundrijo, S.Sos., M.A., Ph.D., or, familiarly called mbak Riris.
According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chan_Chun_Sing), Chan Chun Sing (Chinese: 陈振声; pinyin: Chén Zhènshēng; born 1969) is a Singaporean politician and former major-general who has been serving as Minister for Education since 2021 and Minister-in-charge of Public Service since 2018.
During 1.5 hours dialogue session with 53 FISIP students coming from 8 departments and three distinct levels (S1, S2 & S3), Mr. Chan eludes a sense of optimism, enriching dialogue, and warmly embraces what tomorrow would bring, namely the “New Normal” of Post-Covid world.
Some of the memorable quotes from his address and responses to FISIP students’ thought-sharing and questions are listed below (not in order of importance, but rather, in chronological order) [modification is added to emphasize, thus, not verbatim quotes):
1) Think about tomorrow’s question with tomorrow’s answer, that’s the key to sustainable success, not only for students but also for Small and medium enterprises (businesses) and for the government.
2) Competition now is not between Indonesia & Singapore. No. It is between Asia (Sing & Indonesia included) with the rest of the world.
3) Remember the Spiderman film and the harrowing scene of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben’s farewell moment? It is good to re-quote that for UI students and alumni: with those of great abilities come great responsibilities🤭
4) Of course Singaporeans are very small numbers in terms of citizens (less than 6 mil people). Indonesia is bigger than that. It is not a matter of how many people you have in a certain country. China? India? They are a big-population country. Indonesia as well. You, Indonesians, can make a change, not because you lack people, no. Indonesia never lacks a number of people. What matters is the quality of the people to bring the country towards progressive success.
5) On digital learning: Much of the learning can be done online, Singapore does not need to have big buildings and big halls (like here in UI). We tend to develop blended learning. More projects oriented. By changing the way we do things, we double our master program candidates & graduates, not only because of the Covid restrictions but because the opportunity arises).
6) On dealing with the protracted economic recession: Due to the recession, it depends on what you have learned at UI. Whether it would be obsolete in the coming years and whether the threat of unemployment is real.
7) On the power of competition and collaboration for the sake of mental health: It is more important to surpass yourself every day than to surpass someone else’s achievements✌🏼 By surpassing ourselves, we don’t need to always compare with others’ achievements. Thus, creating a safe space for our mental health and well-being.