New Delhi | US-based teacher Nancie Atwell has been awarded the world’s first USD 1 million global teacher prize, for which Ahmedabad-based Kiran Bir Sethi was also a finalist. Nancie Atwell, a teacher at The Centre for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, Maine, United States, has been named as the first winner of the one million dollar Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, widely referred to as the Nobel Prize for teaching. Kiran Bir Sethi, a top ten finalist from India who teaches at Riverside School in Ahmedabad, lost out to Atwell.
I’m honoured and proud to receive the Global Teacher Prize. I celebrate it in the company of the nine extraordinary colleagues who have been a part of this journey: Kiran Bir Sethi, Guy Etienne, Jacque Kahura, Phalla Neang, Stephen Ritz, Azizullah Royesh, Madenjit Singh, Richard Spencer, and Naomi Volain, Atwell said. The USD 1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
I want to congratulate Nancie Atwell for being the very first recipient of the Global Teacher Prize, said Kerala-born entrepreneur Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize. The ten finalists are Azizullah Royesh (Afghanistan), Kiran Bir Sethi (India), Guy Etienne (Haiti), Jacqueline Jumbe-Kahura (Kenya), Nancie Atwell (USA), Naomi Volain (USA), Phalla Neang (Cambodia), Madenjit Singh (Malaysia), Richard Spencer (United Kingdom), Stephen Ritz (USA).
Attracting the best people to teaching, developing and supporting their skills, and holding them in high regard would lift learning levels all around the world, Varkey Foundation Honorary Chairman Bill Clinton said. The finalists were narrowed down from the top 50 shortlisted candidates, chosen from over 5,000 nominations and 1,300 final applications from 127 countries, including the US, UK, Italy, Kenya, Uganda, India, Afghanistan, Australia, Argentina Mexico and Jordan, among others.
The award is in line with Global Education First Initiative, launched in 2012, which aims to give momentum to the worldwide movement to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning and foster global citizenship, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.