QUẢNG NAM — At the age of 34, Alăng Thớ became the first Cơ Tu ethnic minority person in Việt Nam to gain a PhD degree when he graduated in December 2019.
He was born and grew up in a poor farmer family in Jơ Ngây Commune, Đông Giang District in the central province of Quảng Nam.
Thớ told the Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that when he was small, his house was about 5km from his school and he had to cross rivers and streams to get there.
“When many other friends quit school, I still tried to come even on the days I was sick,” he said.
“Motion helps me overcome difficulties as my dream is about better things in future,” said Thớ.
Every day at school, Thớ found happiness and many strange things to explore.
So on rainy days, Thớ still went to school as he was afraid he would miss some interesting things from teachers.
Thớ graduated from the Đà Nẵng University after studying human resource management and equality rights and then worked as a lecturer. Then he completed his MA in 2012 in human resource management and equality rights
Thớ’s journey to becoming a PhD of the RMIT University started in 2013 when he received a scholarship of the Australia government.
His research is about equality and rights for ethnic minority workers to help the Government of Việt Nam set up an equal working environment.
Thớ’s research proposed policies to encourage ethnic minority people to participate in building policies for them at work.
Thớ has presented research at different international conferences, including the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management in 2017 and in 2018, at a conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in Kyoto in 2018 and in New York in 2019.
“I often tell students and young people that they should have a dream, and dare to dream and find ways to make it come true. If they are ethnic minorities, they should try harder,” said Thớ.
He noted that ethnic minorities often have to work harder to win their peer's respect.
“Only when they really dedicate themselves to their work will they receive respect from colleagues,” he said.
Việt Nam has about 100,000 Cơ Tu ethnic minority people, mostly living in Huế and Đà Nẵng cities and Quảng Nam Province. — VNS