Andria Zafirakou, who was awarded US$1M when declared the winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2018 in March, today urges Ghanaian teachers to apply for the 2019 award before it is too late.

She also called on parents and pupils to put forward their most inspirational teacher for the prize before nominations and applications close on Sunday 23rd September.

The Art and Textiles teacher from London, UK, said: “I encourage any inspirational Ghanaian teacher to apply for the prize, to come forward in order to help showcase and celebrate the great work they’re doing in preparing young people for a future which is hugely unpredictable.

I also encourage everyone in Ghana, from politicians to parents, to support teachers in every way they can. After all, If the next generationare to meet the colossal challenges they face in a world made all the more uncertain by the rapid pace of technological change, they will need the very best education and that starts with teachers.

Winning the Global Teacher Prize 2018 has been a life-changing experience for me. But far more importantly, it has helped me shine a spotlight on the vital importance of increasing respect for teachers and unearthed the awe-inspiring stories of thousands of my peers across the world. And it has allowed me to helpcampaign to change the lives of pupils in my country by championing the transformative power of the arts in our schools.”

Professor Sitsofe Enyonam Anku, a mathematics teacher at Meagasa Mathematics Academy, Lashibi, Accra, was shortlisted for this year’s Global Teacher Prize, having been selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.

Sitsofe Enyonam Anku said: “As a maths teacher, I know how important it is to teach the real-life applications of my subject to help students overcome their fear of mathematics and show them anyone can do it.

“Being shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize allowed me to tell my story and shine a spotlight on the work I have been doing to improve educational outcomes in my country. It also allowed me to hear the stories of so many of my colleagues across Africa and the world and learn from them the amazing things they have been doing to educate the next generation. I would urge Ghanaian teachers to apply for next year’s prize so your stories can be told and so that together we can all work to empower our children.”

Nominations for the US$1 million award, which is now in its fifth year and the largest prize of its kind in education, can be made at www.globalteacherprize.org. All nominations must be made by the closing date of Sunday 23rd September.

If Ghanaian teachers apply, or are nominated and then apply, 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.

Andria Zafirakou won the 2018 Global Teacher Prize in March this year at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. The glittering award ceremony was hosted by comedian and actor Trevor Noah and included a special musical performance by Oscar-winning actress and Grammy award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson.

Four time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton raced to the ceremony escorted by three Dubai Police supercars to deliver the Global Teacher Prize trophy to the stage and UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a special video message to the ceremony thanking Andria for her work.

The applicants for the Global Teacher Prize 2019 will be shortlisted down to a Top 50 (expected to be announced in December 2018) and then a final Top 10 (expected to be announced in February 2019). The winner will be chosen from the 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals.

All 10finalists will be flown to Dubai for an award ceremony taking place at 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 compulsoryschooling, or are between the ages of five and eighteen. 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.

Teachers must spend at least 10 hours per week teaching children and plan to remain in the profession for the next 5 years. It is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.

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. Applicants can apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

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