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Poor family's aspirations inspire Savannakhet student

The privations associated with growing up in an impoverished household were among the inspirations that drove a young man to study hard in the hope of getting a good job to help his family.

It was an effort that was rewarded with recognition in the form of Laos' prestigious red certificates of excellence in two subjects at the University of Savannakhet.

Vannasinh has received top marks in bachelor degree courses in tourism and English.

High academic achiever Mr Vannasinh Bouttathep, 27, received the coveted red certificates for top scores in bachelor level studies in Hospitality and Tourism from the Faculty of Business Administration and in English from the Faculty of Linguistics.

Born in Sibounheuang village, Champhone district, on the rural outskirts of Savannakhet province, he explained how his life of study has helped him to achieve success from primary school to university.

His father was a driver employed by a state enterprise in the province, while his mother is a rice farmer.

A major disruption to family life came when his father developed a health problem and had to quit his job during his eldest son's transition from lower to upper secondary school.

His younger sister and brother had to make sacrifices, both of them completing their studies only to lower secondary school level before leaving in order to find jobs to help the family, he told a media team during a visit to Savannakhet University last month.

However, the family decided to continue to support his studies as he was the oldest child and his results were outstanding.

He was mostly ranked first and second in his classes each year while attending primary, lower and upper secondary schools.

He was also selected to represent the school at a provincial student excellence competition at which he also received awards.

Meanwhile, he also won the academic prize at Donghen Upper Secondary School upon graduation in academic year 2007-2008 before entering Savannakhet University.

Asked about what inspired him, he becomes earnest.

“As I come from a poor family and my father's health was not good, I was driven to do my utmost to continue my studies so that I could get a good job and be able to take care of my family.”

He studied different subjects at different times as his university classes took place in the morning, afternoon and evening.

“I never used my free time to play; instead I worked hard in the hope of one day being rewarded with a good life,” Vannasinh explained.

“During my time at university and secondary school I was never lazy and always paid attention to my teachers and asked questions when I didn't understand something.”

He always tried to join events and programmes organised by the university, where he was among 10 students chosen to represent the university in a cultural performance as part of an exchange programme in Thailand.

Throughout his five years at university, he got top marks each year until he graduated in 2015.

After graduation, he worked on the front desk at the Savan Vegas Hotel for two month before working for KOLAO (a Korean auto company) as an interpreter in Savannakhet for nearly a year.

He took the job because he wanted to test his ability, but it seemed that he didn't fit the mould and his ambition was to go further and embark on a doctorate degree.

In 2016 he decided to volunteer at the General Affairs and External Relations Office at Savannakhet University where he hopes to be able to get a scholarship to continue his studies.

“I am applying for two scholarships for master's degrees, one in China and another in Europe, so I hope I will be able to get one of them,” he said.

A Lao boy at heart, food such as bamboo soup and the ever popular minced laab made with chicken, pork, duck, fish or beef are his favourite forms of sustenance.

He also had some good suggestions for other students seeking to achieve their academic and life dreams.

“It won't be difficult if you pay attention and listen to your teachers. Try to ask questions, don't skip classes, and use your free time to study,” he advised.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 4, 2017 )

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