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Teaching - a career that shapes the country’s future
Every career has a role in the development of the country and society but few are as important as teaching for human resource development, which is crucial for the future of the nation.
Teaching is a prestigious career, as teachers have the duty of educating their students and also shaping their personalities and outlook on life. Mr Soukmany Noyvong, a 48-year-old resident of Sarakham village in Hadxaifong district, Vientiane, is a geography teacher at the local secondary school.

Mr Soukmany Noyvong is seen teaching geography at Salakham Secondary School.

He is one of three Experienced Teachers in Hadxaifong district and is well-known among students and local residents as “teacher Soukmany”.
In order to become an “Experienced Teacher”, a teacher must acquire a teaching certificate and then prepare lessons for one year under the policy of the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The teacher has to prepare yearly teaching plans and instructional media, and also collect certificates, such as a certificate of congratulations, and submit all relevant documents to the Vientiane Education and Sports Department.
After submitting the documents, the teacher has to demonstrate his skills to qualified committees of the education sector.
Only after all these procedures have been completed can the teacher receive the Experienced Teacher certificate and a 40 percent increase in salary.
Teacher Soukmany told Vientiane Times that he had to prepare and submit documents to the department for three years before he was recognised as an Experienced Teacher in 2014.
After finishing secondary school, he chose to go to a teacher training school while his friends chose other fields of study. He graduated with a diploma in 1989.
“I wanted to be a teacher just like my father because he is my idol and I was very proud of him. I have respected this career since I was a child,” he said, explaining the reasons for choosing the profession.
He started his teaching career in his hometown soon after his graduation. In 2007, he enrolled in the National University of Laos and graduated with a bachelor degree in 2010. 
“In my view, teaching is hard work. But it is an honourable job because the teacher has the duty of providing knowledge and useful information to students, which they can use all through their lives,” he said.
According to a popular Lao saying, the  “teacher is a second parent”, and teacher Soukmany is the perfect example of this.
Nowadays, he always tries to keep abreast of the latest developments in his field by reading geography books and watching shows on social media platforms such as YouTube and on international TV channels.
“Sometimes, I add them to my teaching plan,” he said. “Or I include a video in my geography lesson as this can increase the interest of students in the subject,” he said about his teaching techniques. 
Teacher Soukmany is friendly with his coworkers and widely respected by students.
One of his former students, Miss MinthidaXayphosy, a student at Salakham secondary school (Mattayom 5), said Mr Soukmany is such a good teacher that all students could easily understand his geography lessons even though it is a difficult subject.
“He includes related videos in his lessons, which makes the subject more interesting,” she added.
“He is a very disciplined person but he is always kind to students, which makes all students respect him and pay attention,” Miss Minthida said.
Teacher Soukmany said it would be good if the government paid more attention to education across the country as well as to the role of teachers, especially in rural areas.
“On behalf of all teachers, I think teachers should improve their teaching methods and always upgrade their skills as this will help them achieve recognition as Experienced Teachers,” he said.

By Souksamai Boulom
(Latest Update October 7 , 2017 )

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