Many years of supporting education for children in Laos by the Angels for Children foundation led up to a great distinction awarded last Friday: The primary school in Ban Sikeud was given the title of “Model School” for the whole Vientiane Capital Province in an official ceremony with high-level Laotian officials. The primary school is now the first model school in the Naxaythong district and one of six model schools in the province, which is home to roughly 700,000 inhabitants.
The ceremony was opened by some students performing songs, dances, and hula hoop-shows, and a karate performance conducted by Vixay “Sai”, national karate trainer of Laos and teacher for sports at our Foundation schools.
Following this, Mr Veelasack Nam Monty, Head of Naxaythong district, praised the high quality of the school, which shows in both the pupils’ education and their sense of duty, tidiness, and carefulness, seen every day at the schools. He emphasised that reaching the status of “Model School” was only made possible by the support of Angels for Children, particularly of Gerlinde Engel, Chairwoman of the foundation, who has been continuously promoting this development over a long time. Thus, the appointment to Model School” was well deserved, as the school serves as a good example and role model for all other schools in the district, the province, and, indeed, the whole country.
The historical review presented by the Head of the school, Souphaphone Vongphachane, traced the development of the primary school. In 2003, when the Foundation started supporting the school, it had only 150 pupils. Today, there are more than 440 pupils attending the primary school in Ban Sikeud. Here, children have access to outstanding education by the means of competent teachers and a wide variety of leisure activities like karate, dancing, soccer, and music. Volunteers from the University of Education Karlsruhe contribute to the development of English language competencies by offering additional English courses within the program “Teaching English in Laos” for both pupils and teachers. Additionally, the school educates children in matters of personal hygiene, for example brushing one’s teeth and washing one’s hands. By being made a “Model School”, the primary school is now more independent in organizing and designing its timetables, e.g. incorporating more English lessons.
At the end of the appointment ceremony, all 440 pupils formed the word “Sikeud” with colourful balloons in their hands, and then let them rise up concurrently. Afterwards, Gerlinde Engel, Veelsack Nam Monty, and Xomphou Keopanya, Director of Education and Sports Authority of Vientiane Capital, uncovered a prominent sign which indicates the model school status of the school. The entire ceremony was filmed by a camera crew of the public Laotian television.
So another milestone of the Foundation’s endeavours was reached on Friday. Nevertheless, the next steps and aims are already targeted – the secondary school and the primary school in Ban Phang Heng shall also reach model school status. The work towards these aims is already on track with the ongoing commitment of the Angels for Children Foundation.
Press release by the German embassy
Text & Photos by J. Zeck, translation by N. Blechschmid & H. Müller