TEACHER FROM SOUTH AFRICA MARJORIE BROWN MAKES FINAL 10 FOR US $1 MILLION GLOBAL TEACHER PRIZE 2018
Bill Gates announces top ten finalists in a powerful tribute to the work of teachers around the world
Marjorie Brown, who teaches history at Roedean School, Johannesburg, South Africa, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2018, which is announced today at globalteacherprize.org. Now in its fourth year, the US$1 million award is the largest prize of its kind.
In a special video message announcing the top ten finalists, Bill Gates paid a powerful tribute to the work of teachers around the world.
“When you think about what drives progress and improvement in the world, education is like a master switch—one that opens up all sorts of opportunities for individuals and societies.
“And research has shown that having a great teacher can be the most important factor that determines whether students get a great education.
“Finalists were selected based on a rigorous set of criteria, including their proven effectiveness in inspiring students and helping them learn.
“Just as important, these teachers are leaders who have innovated in the classroom and mentored their colleagues.
“They have demonstrated the kind of collaboration—teachers and schools working together—that can give all students the opportunity to get a great education”.
Marjorie Brown and the other finalists have been selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world. The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognize 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 have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world.
The top ten have been narrowed down from a top 50 shortlist that was announced in December 2017. By highlighting their stories the Varkey Foundation hopes that the public will be able to join in passionate debates about the importance of teachers. The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday 18 March 2018.
Marjorie Brown is a former human rights activist teaching history to girls and encouraging critical thinking and global citizenship. Her students have gone on to represent South Africa at youth forums, the Paris Climate Talks and various Ivy League universities.
She started and still leads the Kids Lit in SA programme devoted to improving children’s literacy and its Kids’ Lit Quiz, launched 26 years ago, which over 100 schools take part in, has boosted the stocks of books in libraries throughout the land and mobilised teachers to act as coaches and reading champions with students. The South African Department of Education is using her Phendulani literature quiz as a pilot project in 45 new reading clubs, while Pan Macmillan publishers aim to start a Phendulani Quiz in a poor area near Johannesburg.
Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize, said:
“I want to congratulate Marjorie Brown for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope her story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over South Africa and throughout the world every day.
“The thousands of nominations and applications we received from every corner of the planet is testimony to the achievements of teachers and the enormous impact they have on all of our lives”.
The other nine finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2018 are:
- Nurten Akkuş a pre-school teacher and principal at Ayvacık Pre-School, Samsun, Turkey;
- Luis Gutierrez, a social science teacher at the Gerardo Paredes School, Suba, Bogotá Colombia;
- Jesus Insilada, who teaches English and values education at Alcarde Gustilo Memorial National High School, Iloilo, Philippines;
- Glenn Lee, an engineering and technology teacher from Waialua High & Intermediate School, Waialua, Hawaii, United States;
- Diego Mahfouz Faria Lima, director of Darcy Ribeiro Municipal School, in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil;
- Koen Timmers, a computer science teacher at CVO De Verdieping school in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium;
- Eddie Woo, a mathematics teacher from Cherrybrook Technology High School, Sydney, Australia;
- Andria Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher from Alperton Community School, Brent, London, United Kingdom;
- Barbara Anna Zielonka, an English teacher at Nannestad High School, Norway.
The original top 50 shortlisted teachers were narrowed down to ten finalists by a Prize Committee. The winner will be chosen from this ten by the Global Teacher Prize Academy. All ten finalists will be invited to Dubai for the Award ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) on Sunday 18 March, where the winner will be announced live on stage in a red carpet gala event which is beamed around the world.
Further information about the top 10 finalists will be available from Wednesday 14 February here: http://www.globalteacherprize.org.