Global Teacher Prize Winner, Gifts $500K To Nigerian Opeifa, 8 Others
A primary school teacher from India, Ranjitsinh Disale, who won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize 2020 surprised nine other finalists by giving them half of his prize – $500,000.
It was the first time the winner of the teachers’ Nobel Prize, would share with fellow finalists.
Among the finalists is Abuja based Nigerian teacher, Olasunkanmi Opeifa.
Others are Jamie Frost from the UK, Carlo Mazzone from Italy, Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba from South Africa, Leah Juelke from the US, Yun Jeong-hyun from South Korea, Samuel Isaiah from Malaysia, Hà Ánh Phượng from Vietnam and Doani Emanuela Bertan from Brazil.
Disale, 32, was selected among the final 10 from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries for the annual prize founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2014.
The Prize is meant to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
The Indian won in recognition of his efforts to promote girls’ education and trigger a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.
Disale from Paritewadi village in Maharashtra’s Solapur district, stunned the organisers when he announced in the virtual ceremony on Thursday night that he will be sharing 50% of his prize money with his fellow finalists to support their “incredible work”.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed education and the communities it serves in a multitude of ways. But in this hard time, teachers are giving their best to make sure every student has access to their birthright of a good education,” said Disale.
“Teachers are the real change-makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges. They always believe in giving and sharing. And, therefore, I am very pleased to announce that I will share 50% of the prize money equally among my fellow top 10 finalists to support their incredible work. I believe, together, we can change this world because sharing is growing,” he said.
His generous gesture means the other nine finalists will receive just over USD 55,000 each as he made history as the first winner to share his prize money.
“By sharing the prize money, you teach the world the importance of giving,” said Indian education philanthropist Sunny Varkey, the founder of the prize.
“I now encourage you to use this platform to give all teachers a voice. There is not a moment to lose as it will fall on young people to find solutions to problems that their parents and grandparents have lacked the will to solve, including climate change, conflict and global pandemics,” he said.
The Global Teacher Prize is paid out in equal instalments over 10 years, with the Varkey Foundation providing winners with financial counselling and support through an ambassadorial role for the profession.
The Global Teacher Prize 2020 winner’s announcement was made at a virtual ceremony broadcast from the Natural History Museum in London by British actor-broadcaster Stephen Fry.