Girl, 11, passes university course in public law

Girl, 11, passes university course in public law

Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University advertises the success of Supanida Apaiwong, 11, a student of its pre-degree programme. (Photo from @STOUniversity Facebook account)
Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University advertises the success of Supanida Apaiwong, 11, a student of its pre-degree programme. (Photo from @STOUniversity Facebook account)

While other girls her age play video games, an 11-year-old from the South keeps earning credits at an open university.

Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University has announced that Supanida Apaiwong passed two more courses -- public law and introduction to management -- this semester.

The Prathom 5 (Grade 5) student at Rattana Suksa School in Thung Song district of Nakhon Si Thammarat has already taken six courses, with 36 credits to her name so far. 

"You are reading it correctly. The girl is in Prathom 5," the university said on its @STOUniversity Facebook account.

Supanida's success was praised in hundreds of comments on the Facebook account. "Passing the public law subject is not easy for anybody taking the law degree at STOU," one wrote. "Thumbs up for the girl at this age."

Another commented: "She inspired me. If she can do it, I can too."

Supanida has been enrolled in the pre-degree course offered by the university since she was nine - when she was in Prathom (grade) 3.

The programme allows learners of all ages to take university courses, and they can transfer the credits to a formal course if they want to complete an undergraduate degree. It is a distance education programme which allows students to study anywhere they choose, but they have to take an exam at a designated location.

WIth super self-discipline, Supanida is ideally suited for the programme, and the university has chosen her as a role model for others, showing that age is no barrier to education. 

Supanida has apparently been too busy studying to leave any Facebook comments herself, but her mother Anujara Kwandee told the story of how the girl got started.

"When "Bai Bua" was eight and in Prathom 2, she was already proficient in writing," Mrs Anujara said, referring to her daughter by nickname. "I started searching for activities for her - but I didn't want her to take part in academic competitions because that would be too much for her."

Mrs Anujara said she waited until "Bai Bua" was nine to make sure that she was ready to cope with difficult subjects before deciding to help her enroll in the pre-degree programme at the university.

"She was excited. She told me she wanted to go for it," Mrs Anujara wrote.

Her first test was in the "life skills" subject. She passed...and the rest is history.

Mrs Anujara said her daughter is just a normal girl from the countryside, and doesn't feel under any pressure. 

"My daughter lives a normal life. She spends her time eating, learning, playing and having fun like other ordinary girls," she said.

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