Four pupils at the Theun-Hinboun School in Khounkham District, Khammouane Province have achieved rankings in the national examinations for gifted students.

star students IMG 1193Somsavath Sykham, a final-year student in the school’s upper secondary section, was one of 20 students selected from across the country to take the national exams in Vientiane in late April after coming first in exams at both district and provincial level. Somsavath was placed fifteenth in the national mathematics exam, a result which delighted the 17-year-old boy, his family and the school.

The school opened in 1996 at the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) operations camp in Khounkham. Half of the pupils currently enrolled are the children of THPC staff and the other half come from surrounding villages. THPC policy stresses the long-term value of education development and the school formed one of the company’s first investments in this area.

Three 15-year-old students from the school’s lower secondary section also topped their district and provincial results and qualified for the national exams. Miss Patthana Muangbak came sixth in the country for Chemistry, Ketsana Vongpatta finished seventh in maths and Pasith Xaynavong ranked eighth in Lao.

According to Mrs Khamwai Bounleutai, the school’s headmistress, while the school often produces pupils who achieve good results at district and provincial level, this year has been exceptional in terms of national results. In 2013 the school had two pupils make the national level, and both were subsequently offered places at the national Phonesavanh school of excellence

Ajaan Khamwai is in no doubt as to why the school is able to regulalry achieve high level results. “We offer extra classes to the best performing children in the class each year, and we can do this because THPC covers our administration costs and provides the school with good equipment and materials”.

Likewise this year’s star pupils well understand their good fortune in having the opportunity offered by the Theun-Hinboun School. “We know we have an advantage over students from most other schools,” says Somsavath. “Our teachers are much more dedicated than is usual, and that encourages us to strive for excellence.”

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Theun-Hinboun Student Third in National Exam