An Emirati teacher secured a Dh1 million prize after being named one of the best in the region at a prestigious education awards ceremony.
Nora Abdullah Al Neyadi, of Mohammed bin Khalid School in Al Ain, was one of the two winners of the third Mohamed bin Zayed Award for Best GCC Teacher at an online event beamed from Louvre Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
She shared the honour with Saudi teacher Ahmed Hussein Al Maliki from Juhfa Primary School.
More than 5,000 teachers from six countries were in line for the accolade.
Ms Al Neyadi appeared on screen during the ceremony, jubilant after being told of her success.
“I am very happy to get to the winning stage and I am very proud to win the Mohamed bin Zayed Award for Best GCC Teacher," said Ms Al Neyadi in an interview during the live awards presentation.
"It is an honour to win this award which I will forever be proud of. I cannot describe how happy I am. I feel happiness and joy. I cannot describe how I feel.”
The event was attended by Minister of Education, Hussain Al Hammadi, Mohammed Khalifa Al Nuaimi, director of the Office of Education Affairs at the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and a host of senior officials.
The awards scheme was extended this year to include Egypt and Jordan.
Mr Al Hammadi said the event was an opportunity to pay tribute to the talent and dedication of teachers across the Gulf.
''Today is a special day for top-achieving educators and a recognition of long years of achievements, creativity, innovation and dedication," he said.
The award celebrates excellence in the education sector in a variety of areas, including creativity, innovation, sustainable learning and positive citizenship.
Teachers tested during pandemic:
Teachers around the world have risen to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 15 months.
The outbreak led schools to close their doors and swiftly switch to remote learning.
Teachers had to quickly adapt to new working practices while delivering the best quality of education to pupils.
Schools in the UAE are slowly returning to normality, with more than half of pupils in Dubai now back for in-person lessons.
Abu Dhabi announced this month that private schools would resume on-site lessons from the start of the next academic year on the back of a successful vaccination drive.