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Vietnamese Teacher Among 50 Finalists for Global Teacher Prize 2020

The Global Teacher Prize is an annual award given out by the Varkey Foundation, a global philanthropic organization based in the UK.

Each year, the winner receives an award of US$1 million for contributions to their community. The judging panel includes public officials, headteachers, academics, journalists, entrepreneurs, company directors, scientists and entertainment industry figures from countries around the world.

Ha Anh Phuong, a Vietnamese English teacher working at Huong Can High School in Phu Tho Province, is among in the top 50 finalists of the award. Huong Can High School is located in one of Phu Tho’s remote and poor areas. About 90% of the school's students come from an ethnic minority background.

The 29-year-old teacher is of Muong ethnicity and was inspired to become a teacher after watching a Vietnamese documentary about teachers who help to send children in mountainous areas to school. After Phuong graduated from Hanoi University, she got a job offer for a representative director position at a pharmacy company in Pakistan, but turned it down to pursue postgraduate studies.

After Phuong gained her Master's in TESOL at Hanoi University, she returned to her hometown in Phu Tho to become a teacher.

Phuong is known for integrating digital communication and technology in her teaching methods. According to the Varkey Foundation, Phuong connects her classroom with other schools in different countries via Skype to help them learn English together with friends across the world. She has also taught classes in India, the United States and several African countries.

"It’s a great honor for me to surpass tens of thousands of entries to make it to the final. This prize money would help offer a more positive perspective on education in Vietnam and in Phu Tho," said Phuong.

[Photo via VnExpress]