Vietnamese English teacher Ha Anh Phuong
Vietnamese English teacher Ha Anh Phuong


First established in 2014, the prize by the Varkey Foundation aims to recognise and celebrate the impact of teachers worldwide, not only on their students, but also on the communities around them.

Born in 1991 in a mountainous district of Phu Tho province, Phuong had dreamt of becoming a teacher ever since she was a little girl. Upon graduating from Hanoi University with a distinction degree, Phuong rejected offers of well-paid jobs in order to continue studying for a masters in TESOL.

After achieving her master’s degree, Phuong decided to return to her hometown in order to turn her childhood dream into a reality.

She began by working at Huong Can High School in Huong Can commune, a remote area where more than 90% of the students come from ethnic minority groups. Indeed, students at the school typically have little chance to practice English with foreigners.

Due to these challenges, Phuong devised a plan to create a cross-border class, enabling her students to see her friends from the United States, India, and other countries worldwide through online platforms, making the students more excited to practice English.

Through her extraordinary dedication and effort, speaking English is no longer a dreaded task for students, but has become the most anticipated and appealing subject for ethnic students studying at the school.

Most notably, Phuong’s cross-border classes have served to rejuvenate the method of teaching and studying English in Phu Tho province. As a result, the model has been widely replicated and implemented in many other educational facilities throughout the locality.

Currently, Phuong is taking part in an online teaching programme. She also has her own YouTube channel which teaches English to children for free.

Earlier in the year Phuong received a full scholarship from the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Programme (SEAYLP) and was also recognised as a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert. VOV