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Vientiane school honoured for being drug free

Receiving recognition for being drug free for three successive years clearly shows that Vientiane's Saengsamai School is one of the main allies in Laos' fight against drug abuse.

This means the school not only teaches an excellent curriculum but also takes part in the drug free school scheme run by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

The scheme aims to prevent drug use in schools around the country and to make sure that students are educated on the topic.

Principal of Saengsamai kindergarten, primary and lower secondary school, Ms Viengxay Phimmasaeng.

A total of 42 schools in Vientiane have been declared drug free from 2013-2016, and Saengsamai kindergarten, primary and lower secondary school is just one of those receiving recognition.

However, before being awarded the coveted sign, teachers and students at the school, located in Khoknin village, Sisattanak district, worked very hard to practise and understand the guidelines and assessment conditions enforced by the Ministry.

The school says it followed many directions, assessment conditions, inspections, and prevention criteria around drug trafficking and use within school grounds.

School Principal Ms Viengxay Phimmasaeng says that receiving the sign indicating the school is drug free requires participation by all teachers and students, who have to work together to fulfil the guidelines and plans issued by the ministry in order to achieve this goal.

Ms Viengxay says she is very happy and feels honoured that her school has received acknowledgement of its drug free status from 2013-2016 and that she and her team worked very hard on the project.

She says she is also proud because this is one of several accolades the school has been awarded since it opened in 1990.

The school has six kindergarten classrooms, 10 classrooms for the primary school, and five for the lower secondary school.

More than 140 children are studying in kindergarten this year while 279 children are enrolled in the primary school and 147 students in the lower secondary school.

The school has 28 teachers seven in the kindergarten, 10 in the primary school and 11in the lower secondary school.

The school focuses on written Lao and English language learning for children in kindergarten and teachers teach the children by explaining concepts through pictures and other appropriate activities related to intellectual development.

Teachers must have at least a high school diploma or a higher level of education but most importantly must enjoy working with children and display diligence in the classroom.

I think that parents like their sons or daughters to attend Saengsamai School because they like our regulations and pedagogical practices, Ms Viengxay said.

The school also provides other activities including art, music and sports competitions, along with creating colourful slogans for the campaign on the prevention of drug use.

The school recently chose three of its students to participate in this year's Outstanding Student Competition in Sisattanak district. Those students received fourth and fifth place awards.

The mother of one pupil, Ms Sonenaly Nanthavong, says she enrolled her son at Saengsamai School because she likes the teachers' commitment and the school's top notch curriculum.

By Viengdavanh Banhphahaksa
(Latest Update March 18, 2017 )

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