Born in 1991, Ha Anh Phuong is an ethnic minority English Language high school teacher, living and working in a mountainous area. The institution she works at, Huong Can High School, is located in an area of the northern province of Phu Tho where more than 90% of the students are ethnic minorities aged 15 to 18.
She first became aware of her potential to make a difference as a teacher through a Vietnamese film she saw in her youth, in which the teacher visits homes located along dangerous mountain paths to persuade parents to allow their children to go to school rather than stay at home and work.
After getting her master’s degree in English, Ha Anh Phuong recognised that becoming an English teacher was the best way to improve people’s lives, and decided to return to her home region to make it happen.
If she wins the Global Teacher Prize, Ha Anh Phuong would identify and support sustainable development school projects that are in need of financial assistance. In the long term, she would donate a computer lab to her school to provide better opportunities for students to access global knowledge. She would also create a free English learning app where any student can easily access study resources.
The Global Teacher Prize is a US$1 million award, presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Varkey Foundation established the prize in 2014, to recognise and celebrate the impact that teachers have around the world – not only on their students, but on the communities around them.