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UK teacher wins $1m global prize in Dubai

UK teacher wins $1m global prize in Dubai

Andria Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher from Alperton Community School, Brent, won the award

A teacher from the UK has won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize in Dubai, it was revealed on Sunday.

Andria Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher from Alperton Community School, Brent, London, has been named as the winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2018.

The award was presented by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The announcement was made at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, which saw several high-profile guests in attendance.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also congratulated the winner.

Zafirakou was recognised for modifying her school’s approach to reach out to the marginalised students in her community. She redesigned the curriculum across all subjects from scratch – working alongside other teachers – and learnt the basics of many of the 35 languages spoken at her school.

She also helped a music teacher launch a Somali school choir and created alternative timetables to allow girls–only sports that would not offend conservative communities, leading the girls’ cricket team to win the McKenzie Cup.

Alperton is now in the top 1 to 5 per cent of the country in terms of qualifications and accreditations.

“This as a colossal achievement given how low the students’ starting points were and how rapidly they progressed during their five to seven years at the school, a point recognised by the national inspection team,” her official bio read.

The Global Teacher prize was setup by the UAE-based founder of GEMS Education and the non-profit Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey. This is the fourth year of the award.

Also read: Dubai ruler presents Canadian teacher with $1m prize

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