Vietnamese teacher receives Thailand’s Princess Award for outstanding achievements in education

Ha Anh Phuong, a high school English teacher from northern Phu Tho province, has been granted Thailand’s 2021 Princess Maha Chakri Award on October 29.
Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Balankura presents the award to Ha Anh Phuong (Photo: VNA)

The Muong ethnic teacher has been selected as one of the eleven educators from Southeast Asian countries to receive the award for their outstanding achievements in education.

Ha Anh Phuong is known for her ‘borderless classroom model’, in which she connects her students to their peers around the world via video call. The opportunities to practise English with foreigners from over 50 countries have not only improved their language skills but also boosted their confidence, soft skills, and intercultural awareness that allow them to become global citizens.

This model has also allowed her students, most of whom are of ethnic minorities in Vietnam's northern mountainous area, to access different cultures and modern education models.

Ha Anh Phuong has been contributing to the local, national and international education community through professional and development activities, as well as supporting the education community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She was previously named a finalist for the 2020 Global Teacher Prize by Varkey Foundation, a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert, and a recipient of the Certificate of Merit by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) for outstanding teaching achievement (2016–2020 period), among numerous other accolades for her work as an educator.

“I'm humbled and treasure this merit, thank you so much for giving me such a great honour. I will take this opportunity to build up the teaching quality and open up relationships with other teachers in the world and the PMCA recipients to bring more value to the community.”

The Award Ceremony, held in a hybrid format simultaneously at Royal Thai Embassies across Southeast Asia, was presided over by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from Bangkok, Thailand.

The event also saw the participation of Nikorndej Balankura, Thai Ambassador to Vietnam, and Pham Quang Hung, Director-General of International Cooperation Department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training.

The Princess Maha Chakri Award (PMCA) is an international biennial award established in 2015 to commemorate Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 60th birthday, to honour highly dedicated teachers in Southeast Asia whose significant contributions to education and human development deserve international recognition.

Each PMCA recipient will receive an award package which includes the PMCA brooch, plaque, medal, and certificate of honour, as well as the prize money of US$10,000.

A year after receiving the Award, all PMCA recipients will participate in the PMCA Forum to share their experiences and best practices in improving themselves, the lives of their students, as well as in serving as examples for other teachers in their respective countries and beyond.

Prior to Ha Anh Phuong, other Vietnamese teachers who received this award are Tran Thi Thuy Dung from northern Lao Cai province (2015), Phan Thi Nu from central Da Nang city (2017), and Le Thanh Liem from southern Hau Giang province (2019).