Hugh Jackman announces Dubai's Global Teacher Prize finalists

Hollywood actor famed for role as Wolverine from the Marvel's X-Men hailed teachers as 'superheroes'

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The 10 finalists of the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize were announced in a video on Thursday by actor Hugh Jackman, who hailed teachers as the “real superheroes”.

The prize was launched five years by the Varkey Foundation and is held annually in Dubai.

Teachers are nominated by their schools or can nominate themselves, with the winner is selected by a judging panel for making an outstanding contribution to teaching.

Teachers from all over the world made the final 10, including Andrew Moffat, a personal, social and health education teacher from Birmingham in the United Kingdom, Daisy Mertens, a teacher at a community-based school in the Netherlands, and Swaroop Rawal, a life skills teacher in India.

Other finalists are Débora Garofalo from Brazil, Hidekazu Shoto from Japan, Martin Salvetti from Argentina, Melissa Salguero from the United States, Peter Tabichi from Kenya, Vladimer Apkhazava from Georgia, and Yasodai Selvakumaran from Australia.

Mr Jackman thanked teachers all over the world for their contribution to the future.

“Since the launch of the Global Teacher Prize in Dubai 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,” he 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.

“My favourite uncle was a teacher, my sister is a teacher, my brother’s a teacher, and I have always felt the most important job in the world is being a teacher.”

Mr Jackman also reminisced over acting teacher Lisle Jones, who helped transform his skills and set him on the path to his career.

The 10 finalists were chosen from 10,000 nominations from 179 countries.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Dubai on March 24.