A ninth grader in Ho Chi Minh City visited the Consulate General of Canada on Thursday to ‘serve’ as the Canadian Consul General for a day, a prize she won for her entry in the “CG for A Day” essay contest.
The contest was launched in April by the Consulate General of Canada, calling on students between grade eight and 11 in approximately 40 local and international middle and high schools in Ho Chi Minh City to share their thoughts on “Why is Canadian education a popular choice in Vietnam and what can be done to make Canadian education more popular in Vietnam?”
Its aim was to promote youth leadership, engage with Vietnamese youth interested in global issues, and raise awareness of Canada.
The highest award offered in the competition was the opportunity to lead the team at the Canadian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and participate in activities in the name of the Canadian Consul General for one day.
With her essay, Pham Quynh Phuong from the Canadian International School beat out 24 other contestants to earn the honor.
|Ninth grader Pham Quynh Phuong talks to Canadian Consul General Kyle Nunas at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City on June 7, 2018. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News|
Phuong’s essay suggested that students opt for studying in Canada because “living in Canada and having a Canadian education provide a skill set that is valued globally,” amongst several other reasons.
According to the middle school student, “to make Canadian education more popular in Vietnam, we must increase awareness through advertisements and interactive features.”
She also suggested that adding Vietnamese language options to websites could help as “most of the time, people tend to be lazy when visiting a foreign website because they cannot understand the language or change it."
During her visit to the Consulate General on Thursday, Phuong met with Canadian Consul General Kyle Nunas and discussed the Vietnamese community in Canada, environmental pollution, and empowering women.
The young girl also discussed global trade with the consul general, suggesting that his country consider importing fruits like coconut from Vietnam.
After explaining the duties of a consul general to Phuong and giving her gifts representing his country, including a gold-plated maple leaf, Consul General Nunas took her on a tour of his office to meet with staff and discuss several other topics, such as education.
|Phuong meets with staff at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City on June 7, 2018. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News|
Talking to media at the event, Phuong said she did not expect to win and only considered the competition as a way to apply her knowledge to writing an essay.
“She’s a very dynamic young lady with very good ideas,” Consul General Nunas told Tuoi Tre News at the event.
“It’s such a great pleasure having good ideas from someone in grade nine, it shows that young people are very curious about the world, they are knowledgeable and have a lot to contribute,” he said.
“I hope to see many global leaders and companies coming out of Vietnam and hopefully they would be interested in working with us in Canada,” he added.
Consul General Nunas also explained that the organizers chose education to be the topic of this year’s contest because it is “a significant connection between Vietnam and Canada” and shared his hope that the event becomes an annual fixture.
|Canadian Consul General Kyle Nunas awards Phuong a backpack at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City on June 7, 2018. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News|
|Ninth grader Pham Quynh Phuong talks to media while Canadian Consul General Kyle Nunas is watching at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City on June 7, 2018. Photo: Dong Nguyen/Tuoi Tre News|