The winner of this year’s Global Teacher Prize has called on Indian teachers to apply for the 2019 award as nominations for the $1 million prize opened this month.
London-based Andria Zafirakou, who won the 2018 award founded by the Varkey Foundation, also urged parents and pupils in India to put forward their most inspirational teacher for the prize.
“Since winning the Global Teacher Prize 2018 I have tried to shine a spotlight on the importance of raising teacher respect. I encourage everyone in India, from politicians to parents to support and back teachers in every way they can,” said Zafirakou, an Art and Textiles teacher from Alperton Community School in north-west London.
“Technology is changing the world so fast with everything from Artificial Intelligence to 3D printing that children need great teachers more than ever,” she said.
Numerous Indian teachers have been shortlisted for the annual Global Teacher Prize since its launch in 2015.
Pradeep Negi, an economics, social science and computer science teacher at Government Inter College BHEL Ranipur in Hardwar was shortlisted for the 2018 prize, selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.
Kavita Sanghvi, a physics teacher at MET Rishikul Vidyalaya school in Mumbai was shortlisted for the 2017 prize and Robin Chaurasiya, founder of the Kranti School in Mumbai, was a Top 10 finalist for the 2016 prize.
Kiran Bir Sethi, a teacher at the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, was also among the Top 10 finalists for the 2015 prize.
If Indian teachers apply, or are nominated and then apply, they could potentially be among Top 50 candidates shortlisted later in the year and their stories publicised to create new inspirational role models in the profession.
The winner will be chosen from among 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals across different fields.
The finalists will be flown to Dubai for an awards ceremony as part of the Global Education and Skills Forum in March 2019, where the winner will be announced live.
The prize is open to currently working teachers who teach children that are in compulsory schooling, or are between the ages of five and 18.
Teachers who teach children age 4+ in an Early Years government-recognised curriculum are also eligible, as are teachers who teach on a part-time basis, and teachers of online courses.
Contestants must spend at least 10 hours per week teaching children and plan to remain in the profession for the next five years.
The London-based Varkey Foundation’s prize is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.