On Sunday, November 5th, 2023, the lecturers of the Elementary School Teacher Education Study Program at Cibiru Campus of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) left for Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Dr. Yeni Yuniarti, M.Pd., Dr. Rendi Restiana Sukardi, M.Pd., Dr. Dede Trie Kurniawan, M.Pd., and Ms. Fully Rakhmayanti, M.Pd. made up the group. Building regional cooperation with Malaysian campuses and institutions is one of the numerous aims of this international community service project besides benchmarking.
On Monday, November 6th, 2023, classes at the Perak Matriculation College (Kolej Matrikulasi Perak – KMPk) in Gopeng City began. Lecturers and students from the KMPk attended the forum where Dr. Yeni Yuniarti, who has served as the Deputy Director for Academic and Student Affairs, delivered a speech. Following a joint meeting with Dr. Hazimah, the Deputy Director of KMPk, numerous agreements were reached, one of which states that KMPk students will return to participate in the 2024 Virtual Summer School on Teacher Education (ViSSTE) in June 2024 at the UPI Cibiru Campus offline. One of the main initiatives of the UPI Campus at Cibiru’s Elementary School Teacher Education Study Program is ViSSTE. Up to five students participated in ViSSTE 2023 under the guidance of Mr. Muhammad Kherul Azmi and Ms. Titiyaka Jajuri. Besides, thirty KMPk lecturers attended the forum where Dr. Dede Trie Kurniawan, M.Pd., and Dr. Rendi Restiana Sukardi, M.Pd. were asked to give guest lectures. The topic of discussion is how technology is used in chemistry and physics classes. A tour of the lovely campus area concluded our activity. The next task is to implement an international service program in Bukit Jambul, Penang, for youngsters who are undocumented Indonesians in Penang Malaysia. These are the offspring of migrant laborers from Indonesia who are not authorized. They are non-documented citizens. The primary goal is to give them instruction and training in the fundamentals of literacy digitally. The chairman of this service project was Dr. Dede Trie Kurniawan, M.Pd. This service activity’s partner and facilitator is the Indonesian Community Association (Pertubuhan Masyarakat Indonesia – PERMAI) Pulau Pinang. PERMAI provides basic literacy training and teaching to dozens of Indonesian non-documented students in Penang Malaysia. A partnership agreement was also formed in this service activity between Mr. Eddy Virgo of PERMAI and Dr. Yeni Yuniarti of the UPI Campus in Cibiru. Dr. Yeni Yuniarti, M.Pd. stated that it was a good decision to work with PERMAI on this program due to PERMAI’s strong dedication to continuously developing the Indonesian community in Malaysia.
On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, the fourth day of the visit, the events went on. The next stop on the tour was SEAMEO RECSAM, a regional organization dedicated to enhancing the instructional abilities of science and math teachers. Examining the Memoranda of Understanding and other agreements between SEAMEO RECSAM and the UPI Cibiru Campus marked the beginning of this exploration of collaboration. Dr. Shah Jahan bin Assanarkutty, the director of the center, Dr. Sayed Yusoff bin Said Hussain, the deputy director of training and research, Ms. Rashihah Othman, the deputy director of administration, Dr. Wan Nor Adzmin binti Mohd Sabri, Dr. Parvinder Singh, Mr. Mohd Faizal bin Zainoldin, and Mr. Baharulnizam bin Baharum were also present at the meeting. The event closed with a showcase visit to RECSAM Makerspace and RECSAM Space Science Education Hub.
A general lecture at Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Educational Studies concluded the series of working visit activities in Penang. Graduate and undergraduate students attended the guest lectures, to which all of the lecturers were invited. Material on the RADEC learning model was presented by Dr. Rendi Restiana Sukardi, M.Pd.; learning tips using a STEM approach were given by Dr. Dede Trie Kurniawan, M.Pd.; an overview of ecofeminism, or how women take care of the environment, was presented by Ms. Fully Rakhmayanti; and information on the mathematical analysis of gender-based connection abilities was presented by Dr. Yeni Yuniarti. Dr. Nur Jahan Ahmad and Dr. Nor Asniza Ishak from the School of Educational Studies were also present as the general lecturer. The School of Educational Studies and the Cibiru Campus previously had a memorandum of agreement (MoA). Besides public lecturers, a number of events were presented, such as an international seminar featuring speakers from the School of Educational Studies, USM, and Virtual Summer School on Teacher Education (ViSSTE) 2023.
Benchmarking and visiting in Penang Malaysia is one way to expand cooperation and networking with campuses or regional institutions. The final goal to be achieved is to create a world class university that is globally competitive. Through collaboration, the quality of lecturers and students can improve simultaneously.