A primary school teacher from India has today been named the winner of the USD 1-million annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 in recognition of his efforts to promote girls’ education and trigger a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.
Hailing from Paritewadi village in Maharashtra’s Solapur district, 32 year old Ranjitsinh Disale emerged the winner among 10 finalists from across the world for the annual prize founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2014 to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
Disale, who believes that teachers are the world’s real change-makers, made history by announcing that he will be sharing 50 per cent 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 per cent 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 added.
His generous gesture means the other nine finalists will receive just over USD 55,000 each.
“By sharing the prize money, you teach the world the importance of giving,” said Indian education philanthropist Sunny Varkey, founder of the Global Teacher Prize.
In another first, 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.
“Teachers like Ranjitsinh will stop climate change and build more peaceful and just societies. Teachers like Ranjitsinh will eliminate inequalities and drive forward economic growth. Teachers like Ranjitsinh will save our future,” said Stefania Giannini, assistant director general for education at UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), a partner of the initiative.
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