Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The end of the 2011-12 Academic Year and Welcoming a big summer program

Kok Gniew students take their English exams
The Laos academic year runs from August/September through to June.  Summer programs for English are frequently offered by many schools, whilst other students, including trainee teachers, happily graduate from their courses with diploma or bachelor in hand!  GVI works with the community to offer English tuition year-round and to support both students and teachers over the vacation period.  This year looks set to be a big summer!   
Endings came in the form of examination periods at several schools.  GVI had a significant role at several partner schools, including Xayadeth College (3 year diploma course), Wat Mano (temple primary school for novice monks) and Kok Gniew (village primary school).  GVI assisted over 300 students to take their assessments, writing and marking test papers and moderating the exams.  Year 5 students at Kok Gniew achieved excellent results considering their short time in an English program, achieving an average of 61% with a top score of 80%!  Well done to all the kids from kindergarten to year 5.      
GVI was honoured at Kok Gniew Primary School with a traditional blessing ceremony, known as a basi, accompanied by traditional Lao dancing performances, singing and a hosted lunch.  It was a wonderful day for volunteers, staff, students and Kok Gniew teachers alike.  Even the Village Headman dropped by to pass on his sincere thanks for GVI’s work, and welcome us back in the new academic year in September.
3 of the 5 graduating teachers from TTC
It was also graduation time!  Five of GVI’s Lao teaching partners celebrated their graduation with a Bachelor degree from the Teacher Training College.  Laden with gifts they had some serious celebrating to do before the task of finding permanent teaching roles either in Luang Prabang or in their home villages.

Finally, we commenced the summer period with the start up of short term English programs across three partner locations.  Volunteers will be kept very busy with the fun teaching program of new beginners!  GVI Laos wish our dozens of graduating students well, and aim to continue supporting the graduating teachers through further professional development opportunities, such as the all day session upcoming in July!