timesofsaudia.com icon

Dubai to announce winner of $1 million Global Teacher Prize soon

Educator from a small village in Pakistan among top ten educators short-listed for annual award

This year’s ten finalists receive their medals at the Global Education and Skills Forum, just hours before the ceremony for the top prize.

Dubai: One school teacher will make a history tonight and bring home $1 million (Dh3.7 million) at a prestigious event to be hosted in Dubai in honour of educators around the world who have made an outstanding contribution to their field of profession.

The winner of the Global Teacher Prize, the largest of  its kind and is awarded under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will be announced at 6pm at a “spectacular ceremony” at  the Atlantis hotel on The Palm Jumeirah.

Every year, Varkey Foundation awards $1 million to one exemplary educator. Dubbed as the “Nobel Prize of teaching,” the prize seeks to recognise the impact of best teachers, not only on their students, but on the communities around them.

 A teacher from Pakistan has been chosen as one of the top ten finalists for this year’s prize, out of the 20,000 nominees from around the world. Two teachers from UAE had earlier made it to the top 50.

“The most fascinating and inspiring aspect of my teaching career is enabling students to realise their potential and ability to do things differently and make a difference in their personal life, as well as influence others to change their practices to achieve their goals,” said the Pakistani finalist Salima Begum, who teaches at the Elementary College for Women Gilgit.

Begum traces her roots to a remote village in Pakistan. She herself had studied in cramped, crowded classrooms, but managed to complete higher secondary level.

Throughout her career as a teacher, she has helped in training fellow teachers, a total of 7,000 of them from her province and 8,000  more throughout Pakistan. She has published a number of research articles, promoted to the head teacher position of her school and has been instrumental in producing students who perform exceptionally well in official exams, which ultimately increased the enrolment in her school.

“During her teaching and learning process, Salima always tries to develop students’ local wisdom and at the same time question them on how they are going to contribute to that knowledge, connect with people around world and encourage people to work together for the betterment of humanity,” her profile reads.

The rest of the educators who have been short-listed for tonight are from Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Jamaica, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Kenya and China.

Who among these 10 teachers will bring home $1 million tonight?

Salima  Begum- Elementary College for Women Gilgit, Pakistan

Raymond Chambers- Brooke Weston Academy, United Kingdom

Marie-Christine Ghanbari Jahromi – Gesamtschule Gesche

Tracy-Ann Hall- Jonathan Grant High, Jamaica

Maggie MacDonnell – Ikusik School, Canada

Wemerson de Silva Nogueira – EEEFM Antonio dos Santos Neves, Brazil

Kin Silburn –  Casula High School, Australia

Michael Wamava –  K.A.G School Kibera, Kenya

David Calle – online, Spain

Boya Yang- The Affiliated Middle School of Kunming Teachers College