Monday, June 15, 2009

Keo Bunthoeun Works Towards Career as English Teacher

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008”students, Keo Bunthoeun, 22, was born in 1988 in Oudong district, Kampong Speu province. He is the second brother, alongside two brothers and one sister in the family and they are now living in Prey Phdao Village, Prey Krasaing Commune, Oudong district, Kampong Speu province.

He is studying English Literature with The University of Cambodia (UC) in Phnom Penh.

Bunthoeun earned his Baccalaureate when he studied at Sokha-Phally High School in Kampong Speu province in 2008. Having thus prepared the ground, he later applied to study English Literature at UC. This move was made possible by the introduction of the “Samdech Techo Hun Sen Vision 100”scholarship and the “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008”. He now takes the utmost advantage of this generosity and works hard to make a better life for himself and all who will come to depend on him.

“I am very pleased to have passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia and I love studying at one of the nation’s most prestigious seats of learning,” he said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on June 10.

Bunthoeun continued that he decided to study English Literature with UC because he thought that as English is currently the second official language of Cambodia, knowledge of it would help open doors for him. He also spoke of his desire to exercise his critical facilities on material that he enjoys reading. This rationale is in complete agreement with his long-term dream of opening a private language school.

He said that since he started to study English with UC in 2008, his ability to communicate in English across all skill sets has improved dramatically. “I appreciate the University for giving me this new sense of confidence when communicating – be it in Khmer of English.”

“I now feel as if there is no communicative environment in which I cannot operate. I can read, write and speak English well; and the lessons I have learned in critical thinking help me whatever language I communicate in,” he said. “I am pretty confident that I will leave UC with a brace of excellent qualifications and transferable skills. This is why I study here.”

Bunthoeun emphasized that upon graduation from UC, he will apply to work with any private company or international organization for 6 months to one year to make some money. He will use this to support his family members as well as funding further study. Naturally, it will also provide him with some more practical experience prior to studying for a Master’s degree.

“I will study hard for a postgraduate qualification as a Master’s degree from UC will illustrate my commitment to excellence as certainly as it illustrates the University’s,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

To achieve the goal, Bunthoeun said he takes lectures very seriously. However, he said that success for him relied just as much on what he did outside the lecture theater. He has developed a daily reading habit, the value of this demonstrated by the string of A grades included in his academic records.

Besides his studies at UC, he is also studying Japanese Literature and Computer Skills at another private school in Phnom Penh.

He added that he decided to study Japanese Literature, in addition to English Literature, as he has not ruled out the possibility of applying for scholarships from Japan. If successful, he will pursue a Doctorate in English Literature. In addition, he said that he would apply for study in Japan because he wants to learn about development and modernization and apply the lessons learned to the Cambodian context.

Regarding his stay in Phnom Penh, Bunthoeun said that up to now, he is living with a Buddhist monk at the Moha Montrey Pagoda in Phnom Penh.

Keo Sopheakdey, 22, is a first- year Finance and Banking student of Build Bright University (BBU) in Phnom Penh. He is also a friend of Keo Buntthoeun. Sopheakdey said that he admired Bunthoeun’s capacity for hard work.

“I have known Keo Bunthoeun since 2005 when he was studying with me at the Bun Rany Hun Sen Chan Thnal Secondary School in Kampong Speu province. He is a hard worker, but a gentle person. I recall his academic record was excellent at school,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

He continued, “I am very proud to be Buthoeun’s friend and I wish him the best of luck and all success in future.” ////



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