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Vietnamese teacher honored with $10,000 award named after Thai princess

Nguyen Manh Hung, vice principal of the northern Hoa Binh Province’s Hoang Van Thu High School, has become the most recent Vietnamese teacher to be honored with a Princess Maha Chakri Award.

"I felt honored attending such a formal and impressive event," Hung said Saturday, a month after the award ceremony in Bangkok.

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Vietnamese teacher Nguyen Manh Hung stands in front of Princess Maha Chakri as he attends the award ceremony named after her in Bangkok on Oct. 17, 2023.

An award to honor outstanding teachers from Southeast Asian countries with significant contributions to education and human development, the biannually Princess Maha Chakri Award was given for the first time in 2015, on the occasion of the princess’s 60th birthday. Each of the Southeast Asian countries will have one recipient of the award each year.

One of the 400 representative teachers in Vietnam in 2022, Hung was nominated for the award in February by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training. He has become the fifth Vietnamese teacher to be honored with the award.

The Vietnamese teacher brought a gong, a traditional musical instrument common in his region, with him to the ceremony as a gift to the princess. He also introduced Vietnamese culture, traditions, and rituals to her.

Hung started working at Hoang Van Thu High School a year ago, after 25 years working at the Hoa Binh Provincial Ethnic Boarding High School. Under his guidance, his students, all of whom are of ethnic minority groups, won 10 awards at national level education contests and many other awards at the provincial level contests.

He has also been active in hosting volunteer projects and extracurricular activities, which aim at raising his students’ awareness about humanity and gratitude.

He was honored as a representative young teacher in a mountainous province in 2011.

The teacher will return to Thailand next year to share about his achievements throughout 2023.

Hung said he used VND10 million ($412) from his $10,000 monetary reward to give students at his old and current schools as prizes. He has sent the rest of the money to his savings account, and the annual interests paid to him by the bank will be used as financial support for excellent students coming from poor families, he said.

Along with the monetary award, Hung was given a medal, a trophy, a golden brooch by the award committee as well.

"I was able to achieve this [award] thanks to support from my coworkers and my school, and trust from my students and their parents," he said. "I will take this as a motivation for myself to try even harder in spreading more positivity to enthusiastic teachers."

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Source: VnExpress

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