Global Teacher Prize 2018

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Shaikha Al Shehhi makes call on day applications open for Global Teacher Prize 2018

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 21 June 2017: Shaikha Al Shehhi, the UAE teacher who was on the Top 50 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize in 2017, which 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, today highlighted the importance of respecting teachers. This is in order to attract the best candidates into the profession and “help young minds navigate a world in total flux”.

Shaikha Al Shehhi made the comments as she encouraged UAE parents and pupils to put forward their most inspirational teacher for the 2018 award on the day that nominations and applications opened for the prize.
Shaikha Al Shehhi said:
“Children today are faced with a world in total flux – from the rise of populism, the threat of terrorism, growing inequality, a refugee crisis, rapid technological change and a growing environmental threat. The list goes on. It is difficult to predict what will happen in the next six days, let alone the next six month or years.
“Current world events baffle most adults but it is today’s children that will live with the after effects. It is this generation of children that will be tested to the limit to find the solutions to these problems.

“We need great teachers to foster great minds – otherwise, we will never tackle the world’s problems. If teachers aren’t respected, children won’t listen to them, parents won’t back them, and the most talented individuals will continue to disregard teaching as a fulfilling career option.  Over time, this will weaken teaching, damage learning opportunities for millions and ultimately weaken society as uninformed choices can give way to populism and extremism.

“That is why I urge children and parents to nominate their favourite teacher for the Global Teacher Prize 2018 in order to help celebrate the work of our greatest teachers throughout the UAE.”
Shaikha Al Shehhi, an English teacher from Herra School for Basic Education, Ras Al Khaimah, began teaching as a child on her doorstep with her neighbours’ children, drawing and writing in chalk on the door of her home. As a teacher, she has taken a lead in educating her pupils in global citizenry, particularly in environmental matters, with her “Reducing Carbon Footprint” initiative. She has received a number of awards, the most important of which are the Khalifa Award for Education and the Creative Teacher Award 2016.

Nominations opened today, Wednesday 21 June 2017, for the US$1 million award, which is now in its fourth year and the largest prize of its kind in education.  Nominations can be made at and the closing date for applications is Sunday 8 October 2017.
If UAE 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.
Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell won the 2017 Global Teacher Prize in March this year, with the announcement being made via a link from the International Space Station at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

The applicants for the Global Teacher Prize 2018 will be shortlisted down to a Top 50 (expected to be announced in December 2017) and then a final Top 10 (expected to be announced in February 2018). The winner will be chosen from the 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals.
All 10 finalists will be flown to Dubai for an award ceremony taking place at the Global Education and Skills Forum in March 2018 where the winner will be announced live.

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.

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