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Ngan Phuong Loan: Challenges Are Not Obstacles

Ngan Phuong Loan, an Australian alumnus of Nung ethnic minority, has become Lang Son’s only woman member of the 14th National Assembly, after being elected in May 2016.

Ngan Phuong Loan studied the Master of Education program at RMIT (Melbourne campus, Australia) on the Vietnamese Government’s SEQAP (Quality Assurance Program for School Education) scholarship from 2014 to 2015. After finishing her studies, she went back to her teaching position at Lang Son Pedagogy College, where she actively used what she had learned in Australia.

“I designed lessons in a more practical method to encourage my students to be more independent in their thinking. My college and I have already organized 4 seminars and training workshop including one national seminar and one with the participation of international experts.”

 

Ms Ngan Phuong Loan

Ngan Phuong Loan is a member of the evaluation committee of the GOT TALENT competition for 10th grade students of Chu Van An gifted high school (Lang Son), in January, 2016.

Ms Phuong Loan was also chosen to be one of the presenters at the 2nd International VietTESOL conference in Hanoi in November 2015.

“My presentation, which proposed a new method of evaluating students’ analytical reading ability in studying English, came from my experience in Australia. When given a reading assignment, many Vietnamese students only read to understand the main ideas, without analyzing the strength and weakness of the presented points. However, when our professors graded our work, they not only asked us to summarize the main idea but also to give our personal opinions", she said.

“I love the Australian way of teaching which encourages creativity and independent thinking in students. All the assignments require students to read documents, to provide analyses with convincing evidence and, most importantly, to indicate how to apply what they learned. There is therefore not one single correct answer for everyone,” she added.

Loan visits Maru Koala  Animal Park

Ngan Phuong Loan visits Maru Koala & Animal Park (Victoria, Australia) in May, 2014.

Ms Phuong Loan had many sweet memories in Australia, and one of them was her winter break in 2014. “My friends and I went to Launceston (Tasmania) to spend our winter break. As Launceston was not as busy as Melbourne, we decided to call a taxi to ask for a recommended restaurant. The taxi driver suggested a Thai restaurant. But it turned out to be already closed, so the taxi driver asked us whether we wanted to go around the area for sight-seeing. After giving us a tour, he took us back to the apartment we rented. He only charged us AUD20 for taking us to the Thai restaurant. The trip around Launceston was free. He said it was the gift to welcome us to Launceston and wished us a great vacation there. My deepest impression of Australia is the country’s open-minded, kind and hospitable people.”

Loan during her winter vacation in Victoria

Ngan Phuong Loan during her winter vacation in July, 2014 in Mt. Buller, Victoria, Australia.

Wishing to contribute more to her community upon returning to Vietnam, Ngan Phuong Loan felt being a member of the National Assembly would help her to have opportunities to do this more effectively. She was nominated by Lang Son Department of Education and Training.

In Ngan Phuong Loan’s plan of action to run for the National Assembly, she indicated her strong interest in gender issues and education for ethnic minority students in Lang Son. She wrote that she was anxious about helping to improve the working and studying conditions for teachers and students, especially in remote communes and career opportunities for students after graduation.

According to her plan, if she was elected, she would pay special attention to improving the quality of education and training, and linking training and education to social demands. She would also work closely with the provincial Women’s Union to ensure women’s and children’s interests.

“I feel happy and proud to be chosen a representative of my people. At the same time, being Lang Son’s only woman representative in the National Assembly, I need to make more efforts not to disappoint those who have chosen me, as well as to contribute to the voice of women in the society,” Ms Phuong Loan commented about the election result.

Ms Phuong Loan is also fully aware of the challenges she will have to deal with in this important role.

“Being a woman and a young member of the National Assembly from a North East mountainous border province, working in the education sector and not having been in many different positions, I know I will have to deal with many challenges, such as gender prejudices and tasks in the areas outside education. However, I think challenges are not obstacles. With the voters’ confidence, my knowledge, skills, experience and efforts, I believe I could fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a National Assembly member,” she said.