An incredible teacher can mean so much to a child. A good teacher holds the power to influence, inspire and shape a young person’s life for the better. They represent the key to real change in this world. The teacher plays their part best but it solely depends on children what they turn out to be.
The World in the recent past has been going through so many turmoils. There had been spiking tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Five months of unpredictable stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by ordinary Palestinian civilians have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. Israeli forces have killed at least 179 Palestinians, the majority said by Israel to have been attackers.
Amid all this chaos, Hanan al-Hroub, a Palestinian primary school teacher has been awarded the second annual Global Teacher Prize during a ceremony in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She won $1 million prize for teaching excellence at the ceremony featuring tributes from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Vice President Joe Biden, UK’s Prince William, the Pope, former US President Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
In the race for the Global Teacher Prize 2016, she left behind 8ooo other applicants from across the world. While the prize money was presented by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, her name was announced by Pope Francis. Pope Francis announced her name in a video message while he was addressing about the importance of education and teachers, especially for children who grow up amid war.
The primary school teacher in the West Bank city of al-Bireh located just outside Ramallah, educates the students about non-violence. Hroub grew up in the Bethlehem refugee camp and was regularly exposed to violence. She went into primary education after her own children were left traumatized from witnessing a shooting on their way home from school. She is planning to spend the money on helping students and teachers around the world to help them progress in their education and careers.
In her address, she said, “I feel amazing and I still can’t believe that the Pope said my name.” It’s an honor for an Arab, Palestinian teacher to talk to the world today and to reach the highest peak in teaching has set an example for teachers around the world. In her acceptance speech, she reiterated her mantra of ‘No to violence’ and stressed the importance of dialogue.
For this year Global Teacher Prize, Hanan al-Hroub was among 10 finalists flown to Dubai to attend the ceremony. The other nine finalists belong to the UK, Pakistan, Kenya, Palestine, the US, Japan, Finland, Australia and India. Hanan al-Hroub received the standing ovation followed with a roaring applause after her speech.
The winner receives $1m (£706,000) and will be asked to serve as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation attending events and speaking about their work. Along with this, they are also required to remain working as a classroom teacher for at least five years as a condition of winning the award.
The Global Teacher Prize was established two years back to select one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, employing innovative classroom practices and encourages others to join the teaching profession. Last year the inaugural prize was offered to Nancie Atwell, an English teacher from rural Maine.