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Chao Anou school will be destroyed ?
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SET BACK from the road, and previously partly hidden by two ancient trees, lies the Chao Anou school, where around 520 kids with help from 30 teachers, move from kindergarten to high school. That the school has taken the name of the much loved king, accords it great pride in the eyes of the Lao people. It is thought that many present day Ministers in the Lao government gained their education there.

Despite its important alumni, the grounds are run down, as are all the buildings. While Vientiane roads are being upgraded so that the well to do can travel smoothly to work, the public schools are generally dilapidated, and the ‘Hi So’ new rich send their children to the mushrooming privately run academies.

One of the teachers hovered in the doorway in the lower story. His little boy looked curiously at me. The next door neighbour’s dog, a spiky droop eared mutt, came out and gave a few desultory barks before retreating back into the cool gloom.

“Come and sit in the shade. Hon (hot)”. Indeed it was. The stucco of the old building bleached out in the midday sun.

He, his wife and two children along with 10 other families live in the decrepit but still proud building. The moss grows in the cracks where damp sits stubbornly despite the heat. Inside is dark, and I doubt from the coil of wire gathered in the roofing joists if the electricity is all that reliable.

I asked him what was happening. “The team of Japanese came last week to do more surveys. They say it is the only suitable place to build a stadium.”

“But there is one next door” I replied pointing my thumb over my shoulder to the adjacent National Stadium. The Chinese are building another huge stadium complex on the outskirts of town for which they clear cut one of the last areas of pristine forest accessible from Vientiane. It seems like everyone wants to cut and build.

“They say it's for Japanese sports.” he replied. Since then I have learned that a gymnasium will be part of the complex but it is interesting how poorly informed the teachers of the school are about its future.

We talked about his family’s fate. He did not want to move. He has a bond with the school that is more than that only related to the job. It is like the pride has permeated into his being.

“ I don’t know where I will go if they destroy this building. But I can always find somewhere to live. But I do not want to teach anywhere else. I only want to teach here.”

I looked at the shabby buildings, the broken windows, the overgrown garden and the fallen stately trees and thought that this is not a matter of a job. It is hard to imagine any teachers from my own county wanting to work, much less live in such privation; but it is not about conditions. It’s as though his work is his veneration, and that he is living in a vibrantly important part of history.

Later another educationalist showed great distress when talking about the huge trees that have been felled. “There were spirits in those trees. No ceremonies were done. It is very bad.. very bad.” He went on to say that there had been many attempts to take the land and to demolish the school but the District head had resisted. “Why now has he changed his mind. Maybe someone in Government owns the lands and wants to profit”.

The teacher told me that his boss in the Vientiane Provincial Department of Education had accompanied the Japanese on a site visit the previous week, and in a fit of uncommon Lao anger asked them. “Do you hear our protest. Do you have any respect? Do you care?” and was greeted with stolid silence. It appears to be like one of those John Woo Face-Off situations.

The Japanese education project will develop many schools in the poorest parts of Lao. But when I asked about the Anou school, I was told that I would have to contact the Embassy directly as it was not part of that program, but direct grant aid. I was promised the name of a staff member but was not contacted back. The Embassy was as closed as a clam when I called.

This in all ways is an unusual project. It is unusual for Japanese to take precipitate steps such as cutting down trees without considering the effects. Usually embassies are happy to talk but this project evinces silence.

Later I heard that the school is to be bulldozed and rebuilt as part of Ministry of Sport project. A senior staffer became vaguely beligerant when I asked him about the school. “Why do you want to know? It’s old and past restoration." "Yes but ten families live inside. It supports them." “Yes but it is too expensive to rebuild. And besides it is not a heritage building.” A teacher answered this by asking “ Why not?”

“The teachers do not care for it", the official insisted, "The school is broken down and dirty.” I saw his face cloud over and become blank. All discussion was over.

I understand the tight walk between modernization and romance. Maybe in this case romance should be allowed to win. I think Laos are tired of the pragmatic from which they do not benefit. The loss of dreams is the loss of identity.

Source: http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/1971

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Anonymous

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As a structural engineer, I would also agree to demolish this building. The structure of the building cannot be repaired or maintained. The school was build long time ago, if not in France time colony, that's why the service life of the building is beeing over. Therefore, demolishing this building is the best and only way we people can do. No doubt, the Lao authority would have a plan to move the currently teachers and pupils in this schoool to new place so that they can continiue teaching and learning. Rebuilding new school in this place is also a good idea, but if the new building is more suitable in terms of Lao government development policy, then why not. 
Yes, I believe all Lao people are tired of conservative thinking from which they get nothing beneficial. However, I do not understand why the author is concerned stating that the loss of dreams is the loss of identity. I don't think that he meant that the nearly damaged shoool is our Lao peole' dream. Or whether he want to keep this shool forever so that the building can collapse and endanger to life of these teachers and school students. 
TSP     

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Anonymous

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its a shame that lao people are so ashamed of the past. I don't believe mr structural engineer when he says there is no way to save the building. There are buildings in Europe, South America, Africa that are thousands of years old. Yeah, they are crumbling and you cannot do much with them but people see their history as important, so they try to maintain them anyway. These old buildings tell us alot about how human beings have changed over time and hold many secret lessons we can use for the future. Most Lao people have no social memory of the past. They don't know anything about history accept what the one-sided government ideology teaches them about 'bad bad' colonialism. Go on, knock it down, knock down your past, and see what is left of you.


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Anonymous

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Actually, I would agree with TSP. The building is too old to keep. In addition, it is too expensive to reconstruct for such a building from historian view of point. I am surprising on certain person is too clever, if not stupid. Knowing nothing about this building, he (previous person) claimed that this building is really important, like Ang Kor Wat in Cambodia, Great wall in China and the like. Who earth would love and preserve our culture and our history, if not Lao people? Lao government, as well as Lao people, do preserve our good historian structures or places. As can be seen in practice like Pra That Luang, Wat Phu in Champasack, the Geat jars in Xiengkhouang, King's palace in Luang Prabang and many other places. Do forgive me if I misunderstand him (the author or the previous person), according to him, Lao government, as well as Lao people, should preserve or maitain even the toilets where French or American colony ruler used. What is the point? 

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Anonymous

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I think is better to destroyed the building it look like its going to breakdown anytime now lets make vientiane a metropolitan city and creat modern school and education to the younger generation of lao ppl.

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Anonymous

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Demolish is the word to state the action which Lao's authority will take. Destroy is for war. I believe the building is too old and you look at the picture, it could not stand with the time, and it may collapse. Build another one with better design and up to the 21s century.

Other countries spent money to renovations for important historic buildings, not this one. I agree with the previous comments you spend money to look after things like That Luang, WattPhu, and Buddhist Temples in Luang Prabang... Of course some old houses from French's Ruling time will remain to be seen but only if they are safe for people to live in.

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Guru

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let`s built up a nicer new Chao Anou school with new design and plant new kind of trees that could provide shades and good looking like agar wood which could be cut down for commercial purpose for the profit of the school in the near future. my suggestion may looks stupid but I find out no other issue.

regards.

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Anonymous

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Actually, I would agree with TSP. The building is too old to keep. In addition, it is too expensive to reconstruct for such a building from historian view of point. I am surprising on certain person is too clever, if not stupid. Knowing nothing about this building, he (previous person) claimed that this building is really important, like Ang Kor Wat in Cambodia, Great wall in China and the like. Who earth would love and preserve our culture and our history, if not Lao people? Lao government, as well as Lao people, do preserve our good historian structures or places. As can be seen in practice like Pra That Luang, Wat Phu in Champasack, the Geat jars in Xiengkhouang, King's palace in Luang Prabang and many other places. Do forgive me if I misunderstand him (the author or the previous person), according to him, Lao government, as well as Lao people, should preserve or maitain even the toilets where French or American colony ruler used. What is the point?

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Who would preserve our culture if not the Lao people? Good question, and the answer is that Pra That Luang was in ruins after 1828 and rebuilt by the French (granted that was the fault of the Siamese). Luang Prabang is a 'UNESCO' (very un-Lao organisation) declared world heritage site, and the other sites you mention are only seen as valuable to the government because they 'bring in money'. You suk vao too hard on your nationalist sentiments that you become blind to the real situation. If you mean this building is a toilet then many of the current Lao government leaders were educated in a French toilet (a metaphorically ingenious statement that I know you didn't intend). And this goes for all of you 'knock it down' muppets; a building does not have to look like the Chatteau de Versailles (big arse French palace like the other big arse monuments - angkor, great wall - you think are the only things worth keeping) to have some historical value. I stand by my original point, there is no value placed on history in Laos. Just let the falang come and take care of things, tourism and donor aid. This building is not a toilet but your minds seem to have been flushed down one.


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Anonymous

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I don't  understand what is this person talking about. But I am sure that he did not understand the below sentence:" ...Do forgive me if I misunderstand him ......., according to him, Lao government, as well as Lao people, should preserve or maitain even the toilets where French or American colony ruler used. What is the point?". Let me make it clear. This sentence means that the author wants Lao government to preserve or maintain every old building even the old toilets which were used by colony ruler. There was no statement comparing this school to toilet. This guy seemed not to listen any good reasons, just stands on his point. It could be the case this guy did not read carefully or he just pretended not to understand. Or else, he is not Lao by citizenship serving his foreign boss to look down our government and Lao people so that he can get some money. If that is the case, he is just a predator, no point to talk with.     


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Anonymous

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This old building needs to be demolished !!!  NO QUESTIONS ASKED !!!

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Anonymous

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Sorry to make mistake in typing people, in french the word Coree, is with a C and in english with a K. Mix up sometime. It happened we are human, and human making mistakes.

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Anonymous

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I don't understand what is this person talking about. But I am sure that he did not understand the below sentence:" ...Do forgive me if I misunderstand him ......., according to him, Lao government, as well as Lao people, should preserve or maitain even the toilets where French or American colony ruler used. What is the point?". Let me make it clear. This sentence means that the author wants Lao government to preserve or maintain every old building even the old toilets which were used by colony ruler. There was no statement comparing this school to toilet. This guy seemed not to listen any good reasons, just stands on his point. It could be the case this guy did not read carefully or he just pretended not to understand. Or else, he is not Lao by citizenship serving his foreign boss to look down our government and Lao people so that he can get some money. If that is the case, he is just a predator, no point to talk with.
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Hahaha, I live in viengchan, I have Lao passport and I am a girl. My daddy is a more important samaseek pak than you will ever be. Little stooges like you are destroying my country. Blind idiot who thinks that only people with a penis who have read a few stupid propaganda books can argue back. You HAVE NO GOOD REASONS, you should open your mind, look outside the small box your government has put you in. You only see black and white. Stop being a monkey.

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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:

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I don't understand what is this person talking about. But I am sure that he did not understand the below sentence:" ...Do forgive me if I misunderstand him ......., according to him, Lao government, as well as Lao people, should preserve or maitain even the toilets where French or American colony ruler used. What is the point?". Let me make it clear. This sentence means that the author wants Lao government to preserve or maintain every old building even the old toilets which were used by colony ruler. There was no statement comparing this school to toilet. This guy seemed not to listen any good reasons, just stands on his point. It could be the case this guy did not read carefully or he just pretended not to understand. Or else, he is not Lao by citizenship serving his foreign boss to look down our government and Lao people so that he can get some money. If that is the case, he is just a predator, no point to talk with.
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Hahaha, I live in viengchan, I have Lao passport and I am a girl. My daddy is a more important samaseek pak than you will ever be. Little stooges like you are destroying my country. Blind idiot who thinks that only people with a penis who have read a few stupid propaganda books can argue back. You HAVE NO GOOD REASONS, you should open your mind, look outside the small box your government has put you in. You only see black and white. Stop being a monkey.



Then, if that is a true I really disappointed on this person. She can look down even her father who is a party member, who Lao people do believe that he is good person. But in fact, what a shame that he cannot teach even her daughter behave properly.    



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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:

Anonymous wrote:

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I don't understand what is this person talking about. But I am sure that he did not understand the below sentence:" ...Do forgive me if I misunderstand him ......., according to him, Lao government, as well as Lao people, should preserve or maitain even the toilets where French or American colony ruler used. What is the point?". Let me make it clear. This sentence means that the author wants Lao government to preserve or maintain every old building even the old toilets which were used by colony ruler. There was no statement comparing this school to toilet. This guy seemed not to listen any good reasons, just stands on his point. It could be the case this guy did not read carefully or he just pretended not to understand. Or else, he is not Lao by citizenship serving his foreign boss to look down our government and Lao people so that he can get some money. If that is the case, he is just a predator, no point to talk with.
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Hahaha, I live in viengchan, I have Lao passport and I am a girl. My daddy is a more important samaseek pak than you will ever be. Little stooges like you are destroying my country. Blind idiot who thinks that only people with a penis who have read a few stupid propaganda books can argue back. You HAVE NO GOOD REASONS, you should open your mind, look outside the small box your government has put you in. You only see black and white. Stop being a monkey.



Then, if that is a true I really disappointed on this person. She can look down even her father who is a party member, who Lao people do believe that he is good person. But in fact, what a shame that he cannot teach even her daughter behave properly.    



But I think she just made up the story claming that she is Lao citizen who has a Lao passport and living in Viengchan. The reasons are quite obvious. Firstly, Lao people would not write Viengchan, but Vientiane. Secondly, if she lives in Vientiane as she claimed, should not have Lao passport, but called Lao identity (Bad Pajam Toua). However, I believe that this person knows Lao language well. For example, she mentioned that her father is samaseak pak. As far as I know no other nation knows Lao language as well as Thai people or Thai Esan. If she is a Thai or Thai Esan, then to us it would be not surprising. The example is in Khorat, Nang Mo who betrayed Lao King not so long ago.       



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Anonymous

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I have seen the two topics which are really similar, if not the same words or sentences, but different editors or writer if you like. The two topics’ names are “Chao AnouSchool will be destroyed?”  and “Lao school for scandal”. The second title just printed on October 10th, 2007 by Song Kinh, who claimed himself that he is a Singaporean writer but lives in Northern Thailand.

I wonder why Mr. Song Kinh could write the same words and the same sentences from previous article, which was edited by Margo and David R.  

In fact, the Newmandala is voice of anti-Burmese government based in Thailand. In addition, it sounds to me unconvincing that the name of writer Song Kinh is Singaporean. My Singaporean friends told me that Song Kinh is not Singaporean name.

That’s why I think Mr. Song Kinh is not Singaporean, but Burmese person. And in addition to this, Singaporean people really respect law of copyright. They don’t like to just imitate other people either. They are civilized people.

 

He is surely a Burmese person. No wonder, he did like this, he has ill intention to our government and Lao people. He did this just for getting money from some bad people having an aim to discredit our Lao government image so that he can survive in Thailand.

 

 

http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/1971 for topic of “Chao AnouSchool will be destroyed?”

 

 

http://rspas.anu.edu.au/rmap/newmandala/2007/10/10/lao-school-for-scandal/#more-1559 for topic of “Lao school for scandal”.

 



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Anonymous

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I think New Mandela is concerned with all SEA, perhaps more emphasis on Thailand, Burma, and Laos.

If I were Lao I would be proud of my history and try to preserve it, I believe the examples of Champasak, Plain of Jars, Kings Palace, Tat Luang, and others, are not good examples. The kings palace in Luang Prabang isn't so old or so beautiful, (and where is the king, queen and prince? Unmarked grave in Huaphan?) Champasak has been partialy torn down but not rebuilt, full of trash, I could go on.

There is only one Laos, care for it well, for your children.

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Anonymous

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TO THE LIAR ABOVE WHO WROTE: 'In fact, the Newmandala is the voice of anti-Burmese government in Thailand'

New Mandala is NOT 'the voice of anti-Burmese government in Thailand' - it is a webblog run from The Australian National University on issues of academic and general interest for all of mainland southeast asia (I have nothing to do with it, but I am a regular reader).

Advice - DO NOT LIE - if you are not sure about something then say 'I am not sure, but I think...', do not say 'in fact'.

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Anonymous

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From some of the examples above it can be concluded that the only thing the Lao government seems capable of teaching its employees and supporters is to scream and shout at anyone who has an alternative idea to its own. This is not a very intelligent way to govern a country. What happened to 'of and for' the people?

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Anonymous

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To that man arguing with that woman:
Lao people have Lao passports, maybe not people like you have not been able to travel overseas, but its true that Lao people have passports.
5555 I like it that you think she is Ya Mo, you are a funny man. She does not seem like Lao woman, but that is because not many Lao women have courage like her. They just sit and wash the feet of men like you. So, I like her, wherever she is from.

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Anonymous

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can anyone post more photos of chao anou school?
Is anyone here a former student of chao anou school?
post them please

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Laos is in the "out with the old" and "bring in the new" trend.

I love to survey what those Lao back home think of all these old places...destroy or keep.
My experience make me come to a conclusion that Lao (insider) would rather modernize everything and anything. Look around Viengchan for construction. After all , who wouldn't want new and improve stuff. Who care about architecture or historical. Hmmm.....that remind me of other topic regarding ENGINEERING on this forum.

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"Because I criticized Laos government and it policies, it does not mean I want Laos to remain poor nor do I think Lao people are lazy or uneducated."


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regarding to my comment above.
I have no idea when Chao Anou school was build or the layout of the school.
I can't comment on that. My comment was about destroying and disregarding historical sites, building, and object.

Lao (insider) in general does not care at all about historical stuff from my experience in Laos and from people who been there and worked there. If weren't for outsider to fun all these projects to preserve historical stuff and places...it would just crumble to the ground.

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"Because I criticized Laos government and it policies, it does not mean I want Laos to remain poor nor do I think Lao people are lazy or uneducated."
lemongrass

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all i can say is its time to modernize laos, but choose the historical sites u want to preserve, if not atleast keep a few momentos from that place in museum so that all will remember,

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Anonymous

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Three classroom blocks at Vientiane 's long-established Anou School are being demolished to make way for the construction of a new five-storey building, which should be ready for use in the upcoming semester.

The Deputy Director of the Vientiane Education Department, Mr Khamphouang Choummaly, said the school now provides education at the kindergarten, primary and lower secondary levels, and once the new building is complete, with 30 new classrooms, it will also include upper secondary classes.

“Our students will then be able to continue at the same school with their friends once they've finished their lower secondary schooling here,” he said.

“This is part of our plans to reduce student numbers in classrooms at Vientiane Secondary School .”

T he construction project is being supported by the Japanese government, with funds of US$1million.

One building will be preserved, and 100 of the school's 400 students are using this while construction proceeds.

The 100 students are those in kindergarten and primary school, while the other 300 are studying at a school in Khualuang Neua village, arranged by the Vientiane Education Department.

Mr Khamphouang said overcrowding in secondary schools had become a chronic problem in Vientiane , and few additional schools were being built to ease the situation.

At present it is common for 60 or more children to study in the same classroom, making it difficult for them to concentrate on what the teacher is saying. The new Anou School will go some way towards relieving the problem.

Vientiane authorities plan to build 200 classrooms in the coming years, which will cut the number of students down to 40 to 45 per class.

“It's always a challenge when large numbers of students move from the provinces to Vientiane ; we keep building more classrooms, but the numbers keep increasing,” he said.

“We expect the number of primary schools to decrease in the next three years as more people consider family planning and have fewer children.”

Anou School is one of the oldest in Vientiane , built in the 1940s. It is named after the last Lao King of the Vientiane dynasty of the Lane Xang Kingdom , who led his people to rescue their country from the hands of Siam in the 19 th century.

By Somsack Pongkhao
Vientianetimes


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Anonymous

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as i use to be a teacher in chao anou school. you guy not know . how is situation of that building. it is sad to see iit to be demolish. but is time for it, is very dangerous to be in there. we are try to hard to keep it, we was repair so many times but not last any more. when the rain i comming is become flood is nice good for student to be in there. alot of thing happen. if the new one can serve us better why we not take it. i hopw the new building will be better, as for historic building. we have alot of it. we choose what one can be save.

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Anonymous

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I think the government should renovate and preserve the building. Vientiane is becoming a fast growing city, and eventually there will be packed with modern buildings. I noticed that our capital have few historical sites compare to other SE Asian capitals. For example, Hanoi has becoming a modern city, while she still preserves her traditional and colonial architecture. Vientiane would be a more unique muang ek in the future if we maintained our wats, and any other historical structures.


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Anonymous

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You should not say Chao Anou school will be destroyed. You should use other word such as Chao Anou school will be demolished or torn down and rebuilt.

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lemongrass

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i saw the more schools the better, what is this about havig less kidds? (refering to the article above) education is the future money should not be the reason why they dont build more skools. mannn they really should start spending more time on developing education as a first priority

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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:

I think the government should renovate and preserve the building. Vientiane is becoming a fast growing city, and eventually there will be packed with modern buildings. I noticed that our capital have few historical sites compare to other SE Asian capitals. For example, Hanoi has becoming a modern city, while she still preserves her traditional and colonial architecture. Vientiane would be a more unique muang ek in the future if we maintained our wats, and any other historical structures.



The reason is because our historical sites were always burnt down by some outside force.

And also, no know realizes what's an "historical building" until its over hundreds of years old!

 



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TSP


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Do we have new Chao Anou school now?



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Guru

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I guess sometimes we cannot rely on pure sentiments. It is sad though to forgo such places full of memories. But hey, if they plan on replacing it with something functional and less dangerous for use (for the kids sake especially), then demoltion wouldn't be all for nought.






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Anonymous

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yah yah we need new model Choa Anouu shool
but need same name Chao Anou...because Chao Anouu is King of
three head elephant flag....yawn

katieu katie..



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I guess it is always best to make room for development of the Lao people.

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ChaoAnouSchool rebuilt

(KPL) The Chao Anou two-storey Secondary School at Chao Anou village, Chanthaboury district, Vientiane Capital, has been rebuilt into a four-storey building.

This four-storey building has 21 classrooms and can accommodate 840-960 students.

The construction of ChaoAnouSchool started on 25 August, 2008 and the builder, Chitchaleun Construction Company, spent 18 months to complete this 10-billion kip project.

A charity body, COUNTERPART FUND, contributed some money to the construction and the other parties that also funded this construction project were the Lao government and the Education Service of Vientiane Capital.

The completed school was handed over by the contractor the Chitchaleun Construction Company, to the Vientiane Capital Education Service, at a ceremony held on 10 February at Anou village, Chanthaboury district, Vientiane Capital.

The handover was performed by Mr Somvang Vongvili, the contractor, and Mr. Khamphouang Chommali, Deputy Head of the Education Service of Vientiane Capital.

Also present at the ceremony were Mr Somvandy Nathavong, Vice-Mayor of Vientiane Capital and Mrs. Sengdeuan Lachanthaboune, Deputy-Minister of Education, and relevant officials.



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Anonymous

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Had this historic Chao Anou school been in Luang Prabang they would have renovated it, placed it on the heritage projection list, and turned it into expensive hotel.  Then build the new school some where else.


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Fomer student of Royal Lao.

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I support you to rebuilt Chao Anou school...
please keep name King Chao Anou  or Srisavangvathana who deside communist
 came into Vientiane..please do not forgot Mother-Father land..
 fomer student of Dongdok..biggrin

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Speak-out

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I'm pretty sure  our Lao-government know what they were doing, They probably have had an  experts take a look at it either they can keep it or not . I , my self been there  many times when i was a Udom-Sykhott student. so as i have read all Brothers/Sisters comments here. most of you guys make really interesting comments and reasonable debated. But, , let' me asking all of you guys here. Is it worth it if the town or City keep spending money on renovate the old building with(DinBlock-or Dingee) expire.. or Is it worth it if the town voted to renovate the building but cost pretty much almost the same as build a New one?????????.

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Anonymous

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The new Chao Anou school has been rebuilt and finish already. This topic is out of date now. Please delete it.

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Anonymous

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Education

New look of Chao Anou School

15 Feb 2010
jaoanu.jpg
(KPL) The Chao Anou two-storey Secondary School at Chao Anou village, Chanthaboury district, Vientiane Capital, has bee... 


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TSP


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The new Chao Anou School looks very good. No one school in Laos matches it. It is worth to be named Chao Anou School.




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Anonymous

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There is no more Lao's Royal family living in Lao. Why make it so important?

Better to build the modern and nicer one.

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Anonymous

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Please close this topic. The school has been rebuilt already. This is out of date story.

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