EXPERIENCE, TEACHING AND SHARING KNOWLEDGE AT NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF BATTAMBANG
Dr. Hendri Bustamam
Department of Plant Protection, University of Bengkulu
Jl. WS Supratman, Bengkulu, Indonesia 38126
Coresponding email: [email protected]
I came to NUBB for the first time in September 2014 based on the exchange program for lecturers, staff and students in collaboration between NUBB and the University of Bengkulu. I landed at Phnom Penh airport and was picked up by the staff of the NUBB international office to the NUBB campus in Battambang which is a 5 hour bus ride from Phnom Penh. The first time I was impressed with the NUBB campus, it is small but nice and neat. After reporting to the chancellor and accompanying staff, I was assigned to start teaching the following day in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, regular classes and weekend classes. Besides teaching, I was also assigned to provide workshops and entrepreneurship training.
I am very grateful to be able to teach in my field of science under the Faculty of Agriculture. I teach courses on Pest and disease management for the Master’s Program and courses in Plant Protection and Microbiology for the Bachelor’s program in English. I really like teaching here because the class facilities are quite good, the classroom learning equipment is quite good, and the learning atmosphere is very conducive. I am also happy to meet and exchange knowledge with other foreign lecturers at NUBB.
The condition of students in learning is quite good and responsive. The English language skills of most students are quite good, so they can understand receiving learning. Students are grouped into small groups so that they can learn from each other in groups, students who have more abilities can help students who have less learning abilities. The relationship between lecturers and students is going well. I have been invited several times by fellow lecturers and students to eat together as a means of gathering It seems that NUBB students are very happy studying with foreign lecturers because I quickly became popular in a short time. My facebook account is full of fellow lecturers and students of NUBB.
Practical teaching can also run well even though it is not optimal. This occurs due to a lack of laboratory facilities, equipment and materials, and technicians. For this reason, lecturers must work hard to adopt the environment as a material and means of practice. However, students are very happy to do the practice and their curiosity is also very high. I often see students surprised and amazed to do the practice even though it is a simple object. A sweet smile always adorns them. NUBB needs to make several improvements to improve the quality of learning, including: completing facilities, equipment and practical materials, recruitment of technicians, and budgeting sufficient funds for practice. Students find practice more fun than learning in class.
I am also very happy to be able to provide entrepreneurship training in between spare time, especially in the fields of food processing and horticulture. Cambodia has high natural resource potential but imports are still high. If practical activities are lacking, students should be guided in this entrepreneurship training. Through this training, it is hoped that new products and student independent efforts will emerge as a means of fulfilling community needs, increasing added value, and substituting imported products. From this activity, it can be seen that the student’s motivation is quite high and the improvement of student skills. This shows that students need real practice.
In the following years I came to NUBB every year so that I could see the progress. Now I see NUBB growing into a superior university with good international cooperation. Facilities, laboratories, the adequacy of lecturers and technicians are still lacking. The new management is expected to complement and formulate a strategy. Hopefully NUBB will become an excellent university in Cambodia and the world.
I also really yearn to be at NUBB again. Hopefully Covid will pass quickly and I will soon meet NUBB students, lecturers and staff again.