Dubai – MENA Herald: Hanan Al Hroub, who won the Varkey Foundation’s US$1 million Global Teacher Prize 2016, today urged all UAE school pupils and parents to nominate their most inspirational teacher to win next year’s Prize.
The prize is awarded under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.
Hanan Al Hroub, who was herself born in a refugee camp in Bethlehem, also called on Governments and aid agencies to ensure there is adequate funding, school places and social service support for traumatised refugee children entering new host countries.
Al Hroub, who won the Global Teacher prize for developing her ‘play and learn’ technique to help traumatised Palestinian primary school children, said:
“As I have experienced in my conflict-riven homeland, children who see conflict around them on a daily basis experience profound and deep-rooted psychological harm. It is therefore crucial that children that arrive in a new host country have a safe, secure and loving environment.
“The role of education for refugee children is not only to teach them to read and write, it is also to give them the resilience and persistence they need to deal with what they have experienced, and to avoid repeating the violence they have witnessed. 79% of children had experienced a death in the family, while 45% displayed symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, 10 times the usual prevalence in children.

“Investment in language programmes is essential so that children can access schools in the country they are living in – it has been identified by the Migration Policy Institute as the primary reason children drop out of school in their host country.”

The US$1 million award is the largest prize of its kind. It was established to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that transform young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world.
If UAE teachers apply, or are nominated, they could be potentially shortlisted as top 50 candidates later in the year and their inspirational stories publicised, helping to raise the bar of respect for the profession.
Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Global Teacher Prize, said: “Teachers matter. Teachers like Hanan Al Hroub, who heal young minds as well as teach them, are a shining example to us all. Now, more than ever before we need great teachers to grow great minds in order to solve the world’s problems. Raising the bar of respect and celebrating teachers across the world will ultimately play a vital role in helping to recruit and retain the most talented candidates for the profession.”
The applicants for the Global Teacher Prize 2017 will be shortlisted down to a top fifty and then a final ten, which will be announced in February 2017. The winner will be chosen from the ten finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals.
All ten finalists will be flown to Dubai for an award ceremony taking place at the Global Education and Skills Forum in March 2017 where the winner will be announced live. The closing date for applications is 14 October 2016.
Since its launch in March 2014, the Global Teacher Prize has received huge global support from heads of state, prime ministers, education ministers, business leaders and NGO heads. The Pope also met a selection of shortlisted candidates inside the Vatican. The story of the top ten finalists and the eventual winners, including Nancie Atwell, a teacher from Maine, US, in 2015, was written and broadcast by some of the world’s most influential media outlets.
The Prize is open to currently working teachers who teach children that are in compulsory schooling, or are between the ages of five and eighteen. Teachers who teach on a part-time basis are also eligible, as are teachers of online courses. It is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.
The public can nominate a teacher, or teachers can apply themselves by filling an application form at globalteacherprize.org. If teachers are being nominated, the person nominating them will write a brief description online explaining why. The teacher being nominated will then be sent an email letting them know they’ve been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.