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Earlier this month the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport awarded 18 of Cambodia’s best high school students with gold, silver and bronze medals in recognition of their excellent performance on nationwide exams held at Preah Sisowath High School. The gold medal winner for the physics portion of the test was Ngoun Wathana, who is Lift’s student of the week.
Besides his excellence in physics, Ngoun Wathana has also finished advanced studies in English at the Singapore International School (SIS).
The 17-year-old physics wizard has always excelled academically. “Since I began secondary school, I have regularly been on the top of my class; especially in mathematics and physics.”
Taking first prize in the national exam was not easy for the 12th grade Tuol Tumpong High School student. “I found it hard to compete with other contestants because they are so diligent,” he said. “What I had to do was be confident and show off everything that I know.
“When I won I was so happy and teachers and friends called to congratulate me,” he added.
“In class we should pay great attention listening to teachers and asking questions immediately when we don’t understand. When we return home, try to review lessons and try to discover new ways of learning, and also have a look at textbooks,” he suggested, when asked about his study habits. “If we want to know something, get to know it; more or less just try to study. Encouragement from family, friends and teachers is also important because it relieves some of the pressure on us.”
Every day, Nguon Wathana spends his morning at high school. He takes another private class in the afternoon to give him an academic boost and then studies English at SIS in the evening.
Ngoun Wathana is also a member of Red Cross Youth volunteers, where he helps relieve the Kingdom’s congested traffic. He says he believes that participating in public service can help to reduce traffic accidents, as well as provide information to citizens about traffic safety.
The young physics wiz hopes to score an A or B in his high school exams so that he can obtain a full scholarship to study engineering at a university.