UP VOICE VOL.38 – April 2020

The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.38 April 2020 Download


Excellent news – for the second year running, dental students have achieved a 100% pass rate in the National Exit Exam. This is not only a reflection on the calibre of our dental students, but also on the quality of our lecturers and clinical tutors – many of whom are young specialists with overseas qualifications. We are confident the new graduates will all find good jobs, following in the steps of our first batch in 2019.

Congratulation students and very well done Faculty of Dentistry.

Online Class for the new semester at UP

The university’s recent closings due to COVID-19 concerns have turned a spotlight on many of society’s problems and also educational inequality in our Nation and across the world. As of 15th April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing more than 1.6 billion children and youth to be out of school in 161 countries this is stealing education from those who need it most, and stealing from our future. For places fortunate to have internet infrastructure and where students have home access to computers and Internet connection, continuing education through online learning makes the most sense. Online learning is a very valuable teaching tool in modern 21st Century education and a number of leading countries and universities are turning to online learning through online courses or virtual teaching platforms (such as Google Hangouts or Zoom).

The Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has issued an immediate, indefinite, closure of all schools and universities in Cambodia until further notice during the COVID-19 pandemic. However MoEYS strongly promotes the distance learning or online learning to private and public institutions in Cambodia. University of Puthisastra (UP) has made major investment in online learning and teaching and is therefore well placed to continue teaching. UP is actively preparing online learning including program content assessment, teaching materials and staff development for the new semester. Almost all of UP’s full-time staff have been training in online teaching & support. UP WILL OPEN ON 20TH APRIL, though we expect that teaching will be online until MoEYS opens universities up again. We strongly encourage all students to return to Phnom Penh, where internet is strongest, to maximise their online experience.

  • UP has chosen the Google Hangouts (Meet) and UPOP as formal online templates.
  • UP has closely worked with faculties and lecturers to develop and update online teaching materials such as the course outlines, course books, slide presentations, reference books etc.
  • UP has conducted many trainings on Email, Google Drive, Google Hangouts (Meet) for faculties, lecturers and students so that they are able to use the new online templates efficiently and effectively.
  • UP has designed action plans for online learning and follow up its progress regularly.
  • UP has improved technical, financial and human resources for online leaning for this new semester.
  • UP has guided and informed all lecturers about the new online teaching methods and assessment methods for this new semester.
  • UP is arranging orientation sessions for students and lecturers before starting the semester.
  • UP has developed mechanism to monitor and evaluate the online learning for the upcoming semester.
  • UP has developed better mechanisms for online assessments should they be necessary
  • UP (via each of its faculties) has developed schedules for online classes and each Faculty will be contacting students separately. All laboratory practice and clerkship/internship in different institutions are postponed during this COVID-19 pandemic.

All these arrangements will support the new semester teaching and learning activities at UP to function smoothly and
effectively to continue students education.

Strengthening Teacher and Student Well being for Success

Pastoral care can be defined as support directed towards guiding, advising, encouraging, and nurturing those whose concerns arise in the context of daily activities. Its basically a helping hand to those who need it.
In the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery we use a model of pastoral care where each staff member has a class of students to guide, advise, encourage and nurture through their academic year. It is a way of working that fits well in a nursing context where our fundamental principles are people, health & wellbeing, and environment, underpinned by the concepts of caring and compassion.
It has proven to be very successful over many years in picking up students concerns early, being able to put supports in place and stop them falling through the gaps.
We are now expanding this model as we take up the challenge of moving, more rapidly than planned, into online teaching for our new semester. This
challenge requires much more from our part time teachers, who in Nursing & Midwifery, have been the back bone of our students’ education for many years. So, each teacher will now have a nominated Nurse or Midwife staff member to support, advise, encourage and care as we all focus our preparation on a seamless beginning to the new semester – continuing to educate the next generation of Nurses and Midwives.
We are now expanding this model as we take up the challenge of moving, more rapidly than planned, into online teaching for our new semester. This
challenge requires much more from our part time teachers, who in Nursing & Midwifery, have been the back bone of our students’ education for many years. So, each teacher will now have a nominated Nurse or Midwife staff member to support, advise, encourage and care as we all focus our preparation on a seamless beginning to the new semester – continuing to educate the next generation of Nurses and Midwives.

Introducing Dr.Thao Titya, MD

Dr Thao Titya joined UP in July 2019 as Medicine Officer and was promoted to the position of Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty of Medicine in December 2019.
Dr. Titya obtained his MD degree in 2014 from the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh and in 2018 became a Specialist in Urology and Andrology, having been trained for one year at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. He has recently coauthored a paper on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) published in Frontiers in Medicine – Gastroenterology (impact factor 3.1).

Introducing Mr. Micah McCaul

Lead Lecturer for Year 2 & Year 3 English

Lead Lecturer for Year 2 & Year 3 English

Micah McCaul was born in Harrisburg, Oregon, USA. In the year 1994 his family moved to Cambodia as
Christian missionaries. Micah grew up in the Toul Kork area near Psar Moan Ang.
He grew up in a bilingual environment with both Khmer and English-speaking friends. Micah has been
teaching English for a total of seven years. Some of his hobbies include dirt-biking, exercising at the gym
and studying psychology.


UP dental graduates Khy Daravuth, Seng Huy and Meng Long are making waves in the dental world with their high quality crowns, bridges and veneers. Having trained under UP’s specialist prosthodontists Dr Soeun Visal and Dr Huot Dane, these young graduates are now putting what they learnt into practice.
This female 30 year old patient was unhappy with the appearance of some of her anterior restorations, one of which was broken. Over several weeks they
replaced the discolored and broken restorations with 5 ceramic crowns and 3 veneers. The patient was very happy with the result.
Please note that the UP Dental Clinic is still open for emergency patients from Monday to Friday from 9am to midday.

Communication and coping with stress during Covid-19 outbreak

Communicating during a covid-19 crisis is one of the most important elements among UP and students. Communication is a continual learning process as well as to keep students well informed.
UP is primarily using Google Meet platform for internal communication but also Telegram, Messenger, email and other applications to not only communicate with students but UP have a wide range communication in all levels of management and staff to encourage and support everyone.
All staff and students have official UP email addresses so please use them. Email is still the best way for communication. WHO guidelines on COVID-19 as well as coping with stress has been shared to all UP staff and students. We look after our UP family.

UP’s social contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.
As of 15th April 2020, across the World there were1,999,892 cases, 126,741 deaths and 483,501 recovered. As of 10 a.m. on 15th April 2020, Cambodia has a total number of 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with no deaths. All schools in in Cambodia have been closed. Cambodian people are much concerned about getting infected by COVID-19 as well as the economic impacts of mass unemployment and a World recession.
World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic and strongly encouraged hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practice.
The demand of hand sanitizers is increased dramatically as they are served as disinfectant for hand washing. Unfortunately, some Cambodian’s are not able to purchase hand sanitizers for their personal health protection due to the high price and limited availability.
Responding to this global problem, UP’s Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) has developed and produced handrub solution in accordance with WHO-Recommended Handrub Formulation for using inside the campus and more widely across the community. Currently, the demand and price of ethanol is sharply increased in Cambodia pandemic as it is used as disinfectant and raw material for producing hand sanitizers. Illegal dangerous producers sometimes use methanol as a cheap substitute for ethanol however that can cause death for human beings.
In addition to producing handrub, FoP has developed a method to detect methanol for customers, sellers or individuals who want to confirm the safety of their handrub
The following highlighted items are the achievements which the FoP has contributed to Cambodian society during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • FoP had produced 350 bottles of handrubs to distribute freely to people living in Koh Kong community in January 2020.
  • 2000 bottles of handrubs have been freely distributed to students, faculties and staffs of UP. In toilets, meeting rooms, front office, administrative office, finger print places, entrance gates around UP campus are placed with handrubs for hand washing.
  • FoP has kept producing handrubs in the lower price to serve the society even though the price raw materials and packaging has increased rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 4121 bottles of handrubs have been made for our local community.
  • FoP has participated in controlling the safety of alcoholic hand sanitizers by identifying methanol with iodoform test and qualitative method of WHO basic toxicology analysis. 25 samples have been sent and tested in the pharmacy laboratory.
  • FoP handrubs were used in the exam venues during National Exit Examination held from the 13th to 15th of March 2020.