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Outstanding student recounts path to certificate of excellence

"When I graduated with a first class honours bachelor degree, I was so pound of what I had achieved in this first step of my teaching career. This milestone has persuaded me to continue to improve myself,” Mr Thongvan Phonexaythip said proudly.
Thongvan, 23, was a student at the Faculty of Education Department of Foreign Languages at the National University of Laos and majored in English teaching.
He graduated in 2017 as one of the top 45 students from various faculties at the university and was awarded a certificate of excellence for his high grade point average (GPA) of 3.83.
Thongvan was born in Nhoyhai village, Nga district, Oudomxay province. His family moved to Dongnasoktai village in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane, in 1998.  He was the third son among four brothers and sisters.

Thongvan Phonexaythip displays his certificate of excellence.

He went to Dongnasoktai Primary School in Sikhottabong district and then to Nongduang Secondary School in the same district.
“As the school was near my house, I tried to save my parents’ money by walking to school and always had lunch at home,” he said.
After finishing secondary school in 2013, he went on to study at the National University of Laos.
“I chose English language teaching because I like to learn, speak and practise English and I want to pass my knowledge on to other people and students so they can improve their skills,” said Thongvan.
He also wanted to study IT but due to the limited income of his family, he could only choose one subject.
“My parents love all of their children and I am proud of them. My father works as a mechanic and my mother is a small trader. They have tried their best to support us and provide us with the best education they could,” he said respectfully.
“My family was a huge factor in my success as they have always supported and believed in me,” he added.
At university he was a member of his department’s student board committee and also represented Lao students at a week-long education meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Thongvan told Vientiane Times his method of study was different to most other people’s. “I don’t set my targets too high because that can put pressure on me and make me lose confidence. My classmates were great motivators and persuaded me to study harder in order to beat them.”
Homework was important, he said, as it allowed him to practise what he was taught in class.
He is now teaching English at Pathana School in Xaysettha district from 8am to 5pm and in the evenings he teaches at the Compassion English Academy.
Even though he enjoys his current jobs, he still hopes to become a teacher for the government and to have his own English centre.
“I am not the greatest person but I try my best when it comes to studying and I was finally able to achieve my goal. Everyone has a chance to achieve their goals as no one is born fully formed. In anything they choose to do or learn they will have to try their best and believe in their talent. I am sure they can make it happen finally,” he added.

By Souksamai Boulom
(Latest Update November 18 , 2017 )

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