Global Teacher Prize announces new $50,000 award for exceptional students

Children aged 16 and above can apply for the new prize, which is the 'sister award' of the $1 million Global Teacher Prize

Extraordinary pupils and students working to solve global challenges could win $50,000 (Dh183,650) under a new award that opened for submissions on Tuesday.

Late last year, the Varkey Foundation launched the Global Student Prize - a student equivalent of the annual $1 million Global Teacher Prize.

The award will highlight the work of exceptional pupils and students making an impact on learning and the world.

It is open to all pupils aged above 16 and college students enrolled in an academic institution or training programme. Part-time students as well as students enrolled in online courses can also apply.

Ranjitsinh Disale, the Indian teacher who won the Global Teacher Prize 2020 and gave away half of his $1 million, urged students in the UAE to apply for the Global Student Prize.

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With the world leaders preoccupied with the vital task of bringing this terrible pandemic to an end, I urge them to never forget that it is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows

“Emirati teachers have gone above and beyond, especially during the pandemic, to keep young people learning,” he said.

“Like much of the world, the UAE has been turned upside down by Covid-19, and it is ultimately teachers and students that will play leading roles in the nation’s rebuilding and recovery.”

Chegg.org, the advocacy and research arm of Chegg, an American education technology company, partnered with the Varkey Foundation to establish the prize.

Lila Thomas, head of Chegg.org, said: “Students throughout the world during the pandemic have shown great strength, focus and determination to keep learning.

“These students will now be charged with helping to solve some of the greatest challenges in history.

“The Global Student Prize has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices."

Teachers applying for the Global Teacher Prize are assessed on their educational methods, innovation to address local challenges, learning outcomes, effect on the community and how they help children become global citizens.

Students applying for the Global Student Prize will be assessed on their academic achievements, effect on their peers, how they make a difference to their community, and how they demonstrate creativity and innovation.

Sunny Varkey, who founded the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize, said the prizes highlighted the importance of education in tackling the "great challenges ahead" such as climate change, growing inequality and pandemics.

“With the world leaders preoccupied with the vital task of bringing this terrible pandemic to an end, I urge them to never forget that it is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows," he said.

"Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

Teachers and students can apply for the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize at globalteacherprize.org, and the closing date for applications is April 30.

Applicants will be narrowed down to top 50 and top 10 finalists, which will be announced later in the year.

The winner will be chosen by the Global Teacher Prize Academy, and will be announced at a ceremony later in 2021.

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