By: Vientiane Times, May 18, 2016
To be among the eight top winners of the National Best Students Exams at secondary school is not only about getting awards and some prize money but it also displays a student's successful efforts and dedicated study.
Photo Credit: Vientiane Times
Ms Phoudthida Souk-aloun is 17 years old and a student in Grade 7 of the school for gifted and ethnic students in Xaythany district, Vientiane, who won the literature prize in the national exams for 2015-2016.
This is the seond time she has taken part in the National Best Student Exams. She previously entered the contest when she was in Grade 4 of lower secondary school in 2012-2013, when she finished third. After that she decided that if she got the chance she would have another go and try even harder.
Ms Phoudthida is good at every subject but her best is literature because she likes reading and she was chosen by the school to join the National Best Student Exams because she is the best in her class at literature and her writing is very beautiful.
Ms Phoudthida has been a good student since she was small and she has received many praise certificates from the school as she always achieved the school's target scores. She also likes the performance arts and is a leader of her school friends at dancing performances.
Her father, Mr Khamphoun Souk-aloun told Vientiane Times that his family was very happy that Phoudthida could join the National Best Student Exams this time and that they were helpful in finding information for her to study, especially the teachers at the school.
“Phoudthida is a girl who has an open mind and likes to show what she wants to do and she will try with all her heart if she really wants to do something. She is always happy whether what she achieves is good enough or not because she has tried her best,” Mr Khamphoun said.
Her family never imagined she would be one of the eight winners but they went along with her to hear the names of the winners announced.
“I remember that day as it was very exciting for everyone in our family,” Mr Khamphoun said. The great moment came when they announced the winners, because they started with the consolation prize winners and went up from there.”
“I looked at my family; everyone seemed very excited but my daughter looked quite normal and I was sad as I thought she would not get any awards.”
“They continued to call out the names and when they were about to announce the top student I was sure my daughter was out of the running and I felt so sorry for her. But then I heard them say the name Phoudthida, and I was overjoyed,” he explained.
“All of my worries were gone after my name was called, especially when I looked at my parents and teachers, because they looked like they also got a prize with me,” Ms Phoudthida said.
“I was proud of myself to stand there where all my dreams as a student came true. I am not proud of myself because of how many people I edged out but I was happy that I got what my heart desired as it's a good step in my education.”
There are different ways to study and many people have different styles. Phoudthida said her best is to find out what she likes and know how to organise her time but the most important thing is to always remain committed.
Many people might think that Ms Phoudthida expends a lot of effort in her studies but she said it's not hard for her because she likes to study and she always tries to do something to relax when she feels tired such as doing some activities with friends.
This year is her last at secondary school, so she hopes that she will get funding to continue her dream education.
“As I'm a father, I am very proud of my daughter and the fact that she loves to study and I really want to support her with anything she likes to study and I heard that the government has some extra funds for those good students and I hope that it's true because I worry that she will give up if she cannot achieve her dreams in education,” Mr Khampoun said.