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Thu 21 Feb 2019 01:12 PM

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Hollywood star hails Dubai ruler for $1m teacher prize

Hugh Jackman announces finalists for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019, awarded under patronage of Sheikh Mohammed

Hollywood star hails Dubai ruler for $1m teacher prize
Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman.

The top 10 finalists for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019 - awarded under the patronage of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - were announced on Thursday by Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman.

Now in its fifth year, the $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind.

In a special video message, Jackman, the Wolverine and Greatest Showman star, said: “I would like to give special thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai under whose continued patronage the Global Teacher Prize has become a shining beacon to teachers around the world.”

The 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2019 are:

  • Andrew Moffat MBE, a Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) teacher from Parkfield Community School, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom;
  • Daisy Mertens, an all subjects teacher at community-based school De Vuurvogel, Helmond, Netherlands;
  • Débora Garofalo, a Technologies for Learning teacher at EMEF Almirante Ary Parreiras, São Paulo, Brazil;
  • Hidekazu Shoto, an English language and ICT teacher at Ritsumeikan Primary School, Kyoto, Japan;
  • Martin Salvetti, Head of Automative Studies and Adult Professional Training, at EEST N°5 "2 de Abril" Temperley, Temperley, Buenos Aires, Argentina;
  • Melissa Salguero, a Music teacher at P.S.48 Joseph R Drake elementary school, the Bronx, New York, United States;
  • Peter Tabichi, a Maths and Physics teacher at Keriko Secondary School, Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya;
  • Swaroop Rawal, a Life Skills teacher, at Lavad Primary School, Gujarat, India;
  • Vladimer Apkhazava, a Civic Education teacher at Chibati Public School, Tbilisi, Georgia,
  • Yasodai Selvakumaran a history and society and culture teacher, at Rooty Hill High School, New South Wales, Australia.

Jackman said: “When I was a kid there were lots of superheroes that I wanted to be. But I can tell you right now, from where I stand, with all my experience, the real superheroes are teachers – they’re the ones that change the world.

“All of us go through insecurity and doubt, trepidation, along this journey of life, and those teachers that see the best in us and are patient enough to allow us to grow into that, they are like gold.”

He added: “Since the launch of the Global Teacher Prize in Dubai UAE just five years ago it has gone on to inspire over 30 national teacher prizes, unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives.

The finalists have been selected from over 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries around the world.

The winner will be announced on Saturday March 23 at a ceremony featuring Little Mix, who are headlining the event, together with Rita Ora and Liam Payne, at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize, said: “I want to congratulate the top 10 finalists who have made it through from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope their stories will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day."

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