Inspiring model student a red certificate recipient
An excellent student from central Laos serves as a source of inspiration for other aspiring high achievers after she was recognised for her academic excellence and awarded with a coveted red certificate at the completion of her studies.
Ms Phetdala Xaiyachack has been recognised for her academic excellence during her studies towards a Bachelor of Environmental Management.
24 years old Mss Phetdala Xaiyachack was interviewed by a media team during their visit to the University of Savannakhet province in the middle of January.
Ms Phetdala hails from Cheang village, Khammuan district, Khammuan province. She is the oldest child in her family and has one younger sister.
Recently recognised as one of four excellent students to receive the prestigious red certificate from Savannakhet University, Ms Phetdala graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Management from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment in the academic year 2013-2014.
She is one of 107 graduates from the recently established University of Savannakhet and one of only four to receive a prestigious red certificate.
“My success came from my inspiration to be an outstanding achiever and a model for other students. During my studies, I always tried to show my friendship and solidarity with the other students,” she said.
“Meanwhile, I also had to focus and pay attention on my studies and respond to the task at hand. I was always careful to balance my time and know when it was time to study and when it was time to play.”
“In addition though, I always tried to join activities or programmes of the university in order to make a contribution and promote student solidarity.”
Her hard work and dedication throughout the duration of her five years of study saw Ms Phetdala recognised through the awarding of the red certificate.
Returning to her history of study from primary school until university, Ms Phetdala mostly studied in the city.
When she was five years old she started studying at Cheang Primary School, a year earlier than most students, because she was recognised from a young age as being a fast learner.
She was always among the top ten students in her year throughout primary school, and often top of the class.
After graduating from primary school, she then went on to lower secondary school where she met new friends and started enjoying a social life but consequently her grades started to slip towards the middle of the class.
Then in her second year of secondary she met some other students who were also high achievers who sat in the front row and were keen to learn and her grades started to climb again, putting her once again among the top ten students in the class.
Then when she started upper secondary school in Thakhak district, she had the inspiration to go one step further and become an outstanding student, so she studied harder and asked more questions of her teachers whenever she didn't understand something.
From then on she consistently ranked from first to fifth in her class and during her last year she was chosen to represent her school to join the provincial excellent student competition.
She finished in fourth place in the whole of Khammuan province and her favourite subjects were chemistry and physics.
After graduating from secondary school in the 2008-2009 academic year, her parents wanted her to study medical science in Vientiane but she didn't like that because there were so many people in the capital and she also didn't like the medical subject.
Meanwhile, she also wanted to apply herself without the help of her parents and decided to study environmental management in Savannakhet province instead. Then, she passed the exam and starting to study at the central university. Her parents also accepted her decision and rented a guesthouse for her to study in Savannakhet province.
Throughout university, her grades still remained from first to fifth place in her class. In addition, she also joined an activity for an environmental volunteer group and she was selected as the president of the group, which then went on to launch environmental awareness campaigns at local primary schools.
Meanwhile, she was also selected as one of the art performers of her university and went to perform in Thailand as part of a cultural exchange programme because she was conversant in English.
During her higher class of study at university, she didn't only study the lectures but also learnt and obtained information from websites such as www.laoinfo.gov.la and other sources, which were suggested to her by her teachers.
Before graduation and being named as one of the excellent students of her university, she had to complete her thesis under the theme ‘Land use before and after rubber plantation concessions' in Savannakhet province.
“Before my graduation ceremony,” Ms Phetdala said, “I called my parents to tell them I would receive a red certificate. They were very surprised and also very proud that I could do all that on my own even though I didn't stay with them.”
After she graduated, her lecturer also wanted her to work for the university but she had to return home and then she applied to work for the Environment Department in her native Khammuan province.
Unluckily, while working at the department she could not get any assignments to go overseas or obtain a scholarship to study abroad and it was not easy to be allocated a quota position to become a state employee.
So, she decided to quit and started working as a volunteer at Savannakhet University, which opens options for all employees or volunteers who have ability to apply for scholarships to upgrade their skills and knowledge.
Ms Phetdala has been working at the university for over six months now and is currently trying to apply for scholarships to further her master's degree.
“I know that the red certificate is for excellent students and they also make it easier for the recipients to get jobs than other students. But I would like the government to help these excellent students by giving them scholarships to continue their studies or give them priority to work with the government and become state employees,” Ms Phetdala said.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 27, 2017 )