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Businesswoman receives award for contribution to education

Contributing to national development is one of the most important activities for everyone in Laos, including contributions to education and human resource development.
Some organisations and individuals who are active in such fields provide assistance to others without considering how they themselves may benefit.
To show appreciation for the contributions of people working for national development, the government gives away awards and certificates.
One such person is Mrs Kularb Southammavong, who was recently recognised along with her family, known as the Southammavong family, by the government for their contributions to education development.

Sisattanak district Deputy Governor, Mr Davanh Thonnavongsa, pins a First Class Development Order on Mrs Kularb Southammavong for her contribution to education.

The government awarded a First Class Development Order to Mrs Kularb for her work in helping people to access better education facilities. Thanks to a grant from Mrs Kularb and her family, a new building was constructed to increase student enrollment at the secondary school in Sisattanak district, Vientiane.
The award was handed over at a ceremony held at the school on Monday to mark National Teachers’ Day, which is observed across Laos on October 7.
Mrs Kularb, 77, is a businessperson from Haixok village, Sisattanak district. She provided 2.8 billion kip to build a two-storey building with 10 classrooms equipped with good quality furniture. The building is designed to accommodate more than 400 students.
This contribution will also support the Lao government’s efforts to achieve the targets of the 8th Education Sector Development Plan 2016-2020 in order to improve the Gross Enrolment Ratio for secondary education to 85 percent by 2020, and to realise the national vision to graduate from Least Developed Country status by 2020.
“I feel very glad and honoured that my family, the Southammavong Family, has been awarded the First Class Development Order with a certificate for our contributions to education and national development and I’m thankful to the government and other sectors,” Mrs Kularb said.
“This success could not have been achieved without cooperation from several sectors, local officials and teachers.”
This is not the first time the Southammavong family has been recognised for their assistance. They also provided grants to build a secondary school building with 12 classrooms in 1998, and a hospital with five rooms in 1999. Both buildings were constructed in Pakkayoung village, Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province. The government then awarded a First Class Development Order and certificates.
In 2010-11, the family provided a grant of several billion kip to monks in Dongdok village, Xaythany district, Vientiane, to build a two-storey school with 16 classrooms and furniture. They also provided funds to build a hospital in Sisattanak district, Vientiane, in 2013.
The principal of Sisattanak Secondary School, Mr Khamtay Southavilay, said the project was a joint effort between the school and the district Education and Sports Office. A request for funds was made to Mrs Kularb to construct a new school building to replace an older structure, he added.
In June 2016, the Southammavong family agreed to provide a grant.
The project was started in July 2016 and the building was completed at a cost of 2.8 billion kip. A handover ceremony for the new building was recently organised by school officials.
In the past, the school did not have enough classrooms and could not increase the number of students each year.
“It is hoped that the new building will enable us to increase the number of students in the near future,” Mr Khamtay said.
Sisattanak Secondary School asked the government to honour Mrs Kularb’s contribution to education development.
Mr Khamtay said the school is now raising funds to build a new meeting room and a library to promote reading among students and to make them independent and lifelong learners. It is expected that these two facilities will cost 290 million kip.

By Keoviengkhone Bounviseth
(Latest Update October 10 , 2017 )

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