The foundation launched by Dubai-based education philanthropist Sunny Varkey has announced the 2016 finalists of its annual $1m Global Teacher Prize.
The Varkey Foundation – launched by the GEMS Education founder in 2010 – aims to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children around the world, and in 2015 held the first Global Teacher Prize to recognise and honour teachers across the globe who have made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
The 2016 edition of the prize features 10 finalists from Palestine, Pakistan, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Kenya, Finland and Japan.
The finalists were narrowed down from 8,000 nominations and applications from 148 countries and the winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday March 13.
The winner will be chosen by the extensive Global Teacher Prize Academy, made up of head teachers, education experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists.
The Gulf Cooperation Council is heavily represented in the Academy. Members from Saudi Arabia include television personality and philanthropist Muna Abusulayman, Group CEO and managing director of
Emaar Economic Cit Fahd Al Rasheed, Glowork founder and CEO Khalid Alkhudair, and investment banker Loula Bakr.
Members from the United Arab Emirates include Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg, managing director of Crescent Group Badr Jafar, partner and managing director of The Boston Consulting Group Leila Hoteit, and chairman of Emirates Driving Company Tayed Kamali.
Kuwaiti clinical psychologist and founder of superhero graphic novel The 99, Naif Al Mutawa, is also part of the Academy, as is vice president of Bahrain’s Al Baraka Banking Group Ali Adnan Ibrahim.
The 10 finalists for 2016 are:
- Hanan Al Hroub (Samiha Khalil Secondary School, Palestine)
- Aqeela Asifi (Girls refugee schools Pakistan)
- Robin Chaurasiya (Kranti School, India)
- Joe Fatheree (Effingham High School, United States)
- Colin Hegarty (Preston Manor School, United Kingdom)
- Richard Johnson (Rostrata Primary School, Australia)
- Ayub Mohamud (Eastleigh High School, Kenya)
- Maarit Rossi (Paths to Maths, Finland)
- Michael Soskil (Wallenpaupack South Elementary School, United States)
- Kazuya Takahashi (Japan)