Inspiring Indian teachers in the running for Global Teacher Prize 2021

Inspiring Indian teachers in the running for Global Teacher Prize 2021

Satyam Mishra, a mathematics teacher from Bhagalpur in Bihar and Meghana Musunuri, a social studies, English and math teacher from Hyderabad in Telangana are the Indians in the shortlist for the 2021 Global Teacher Prize.

The $1-million Global Teacher Prize, organised by the Varkey Foundation in partnership with UNESCO, attracted over 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries.

“It is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence,” said Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation.

Bihar teacher Satyam Mishra made the final 50 cut for his determination to change the way children look at the world and uses cool multiplication tricks to bring his subject alive for students. Meghana Musunuri, the second Indian teacher on the 2021 shortlist, is described as an education futurist, philanthropist and a passionate entrepreneur as the founder and chairperson of Fountainhead Global School & Junior College and also Hyderabad Champion for Google's Women Entrepreneurs On The Web (WEOW), guiding women entrepreneurs in establishing their online presence.

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“UNESCO is a proud partner of the Global Teacher Prize, which has done so much to highlight teachers’ transformational role in young people’s lives. Inspirational teachers and extraordinary students alike deserve recognition for their commitment to education amid the learning crisis we see today,” said Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education at UNESCO.

“If we are to rebuild a better world in the wake of Covid we must prioritise giving every child their birthright of a quality education. It is the next generation, with teachers as their guide, who will safeguard the future for us all," she said.

Alongside, an inaugural sister prize – the Chegg.Org Global Student Prize – includes four Indian students in the top 50 shortlist with Kaif Ali, a 21-year-old architecture student at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Aayush Gupta, a 23-year-old MBA student at IIM Ahmedabad; and Seema Kumari, a 17-year-old student from Jharkhand; and Vipin Kumar Sharma, a 24-year-old student from the Central University of Haryana. The prize money for the new student prize has now also been doubled to $100,000.

“In this age of Covid, students like Kaif, Aayush, Seema and Vipin have shown great courage to keep studying and keep fighting for a better future despite huge obstacles,” said Lila Thomas, Head of Chegg.org.

“We were so inspired by the achievements of these extraordinary students throughout the world that applied for the inaugural Global Student Prize that Chegg chose to double the value of the prize to $100,000,” she said.

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Students who applied for the Global Student Prize are being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.

Following the shortlist announcement, the top 10 finalists of both prizes will be announced next month. The winners will be chosen by the Global Teacher Prize Academy and the Global Student Prize Academy, respectively, and unveiled at an awards ceremony in Paris in November.

Last year's Global Teacher Prize winner was Ranjitsinh Disale from Maharashtra.

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