It was another lively edition of the Student Leaders’ Annual Dialogue with senior management at Republic Polytechnic (RP) on Oct 15.
For the second straight year, the event was conducted virtually on MS Teams due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But that did not stop students and staff from engaging in some dynamic sessions about all things RP.
This annual dialogue session has helped the senior management to gain a better understanding of students’ lives in RP and has allowed them to make positive changes for a better learning environment.
Questions were gathered from the student body by their peers and they included concerns over a range of issues.
The two-hour-long session was split into three different breakout rooms that dealt with the topics – academic matters, campus life and post-graduation.
REFLECTION JOURNAL REQUEST
Sito Rong Yao, the president of the 19th Student Council, started off the dialogue with a question regarding something all students were familiar with – the daily Reflection Journal (RJ).
He asked if consideration could be given to pushing the submission time to the next day. He reasoned that certain lessons ended late and highlighted that some students lived far away from campus or were held back in school due to Interest Groups (IG) commitments.
Sito specifically asked if the RJ submission time could be shifted from 2359hrs to 0900hrs the following day.
Dr Girija Veerappan, the Director of Academic Services Centre for Educational Development,
shared that the purpose of RJ is for the students to consolidate, put in words, and to provide a visual aid for lecturers to see how the students have understood and reflected on what they learned.
Students who are not ready to put their thinking into words by 2359hrs, should write in to request an extension, she added.
During the senior management dialogue, students were also advised to provide strong valid reasons for raising RJ deadline extension requests.
With regards to rumours that internship opportunities had reduced due to the pandemic, Dr Michael Koh, the Deputy Principal (Academic Services), shared that internship opportunities vary throughout the semester across different programmes.
He went on to explain that respective Schools would discuss with host organisations on the learning objectives and job scope, prior to students going for an internship.
Dr Koh added that companies’ business needs may alter due to the pandemic. As such, students should contact their liaison officer if their job scope changes and may not be relevant to their field of study.
When discussing campus life, Student Leaders raised concerns regarding security because some students felt unsafe with many visitors around the school compound. They said people are often seen jogging or cycling around RP.
Mr Yeo Li Pheow, Principal and CEO of RP, clarified that the school has been officially closed to the public since 2020 and some people, who looked like visitors, may actually be part-time students.
Mr Yeo shared that people are often challenged to prove they had official reasons to be on campus and many have been turned away by the staff from entering the school.
Mr Laurence Tan, Director of the Office of Estate, proceeded to explain that although not widely known, the campus is currently equipped with 2,000 cameras.
With these cameras, RP Security is able to track for irregularities, alongside a Smart Campus Management System (SCMS) where campus virtual patrol takes place that augments the existing security operations such as physical security patrol.
Bringing the dialogue session to a close, Mr Yeo thanked Student Leaders for attending and highlighted that the questions showed that the students cared about raising RP’s profile.