After several years of experience with the Lao school system, Angels for Children decided to expand their support and to invest in secondary education starting in 2007. Ban Phang Heng secondary school, run by the government, faced one of the major problems that Ban Sikeud primary school had faced before, too. Due to their low salaries, teachers worked only for half the month. The other half of the month, teachers worked in the rice fields to earn enough money for supporting their families.
Like in the Ban Sikeud school, hardly anyone at the Ban Phang Heng secondary school felt responsible for the futures of the pupils. Approximately 300 pupils were officially enrolled at Ban Phang Heng secondary, but many of them attended school only sporadically. AfC started construction works in 2010. In 2011, the secondary school was inaugurated in an official ceremony with Mr. Robert von Rimscha, who was the German Ambassador at that time.
A two-story building with 12 classrooms, 2 offices, one for the directors and one for the foundation each, a room for the teaching staff including a kitchen, new sanitation facilities, a library, and a big gym were built. Since then, Ban Phang Heng secondary school has faced a large increase of pupils who now attend school regularly, which is why construction works started in 2015 once more. Three new classrooms and a chemistry and physics laboratory were built in order to prepare students for vocational schools. Today, nearly 700 pupils attend Ban Phang Heng, which currently is the school’s maximum capacity.
Following the successful role model of Ban Sikeud primary school, the foundation provided significant support in general organization, the salary of the teachers, as well as extra-curricular activities. Art and handicraft courses are offered, as well as Karate-Do lessons, traditional dances and other sports courses like ping-pong, volleyball, and Sekap Takraw. The school’s Karate-Do team has already won national competitions. Ban Phang Heng secondary school was also awarded for having the best students in Laos.
Text & Photos by J. Zeck
As of November 2016