The success of the Varkey Foundation’s US $1M Global Teacher Prize, now celebrating its third year of success, has inspired National Teacher Prizes in over 20 nations.
Colombia was the first country to start its own prize, with the backing and support of the Varkey Foundation. And since the Global Teacher Prize was awarded to Palestinian teacher Hanan Al Hroub in March 2016, many countries have now decided to follow suit, announcing that they will launch their own unique national teacher prizes.
The countries announcing new National Teacher Prizes today are:
- Czech Republic
- Somalia Land Coalition
These countries are the latest additions to the list of new National Teacher Prizes. After Colombia became the first country to launch its own prize, Argentina, Italy, Liberia, Palestine, Nepal and Uganda announced at last year’s GESF that they would set up their own prizes.
Encouraging each country to set up its own national prize, the Varkey Foundation has helped by sharing with them information on nomination and application processes, judging criteria, branding advice and other tips. This helps ensure the prizes can be of a similar high quality and operate on a standard model that can be adapted to national needs.
Varkey Foundation CEO Vikas Pota said:
“The Global Teacher Prize was set up to enhance the respect, reward and celebration of teachers around the world. It does this by shining a spotlight on great teachers and sharing their remarkable stories. Ultimately we wanted to inspire the best possible candidates to join the teaching profession, and we are thrilled that these shared goals are now successfully taking root in individual countries.
“When we embarked on this journey we hoped there might be national spin-offs of the Global Teacher Prize, independent from us but with a shared set of values and close co-operation to make them a success. But we couldn’t have dreamt that within the space of three years we would have over 20 national teacher prizes either set up or are in the process of being set up.
“It is really remarkable, a testament to Governments around the world taking on board the message that we must do all we can to elevate the status of teachers. It is wonderful to see that the Global Teacher Prize is now being adapted for local needs at an even deeper level in individual countries.”
The national teacher prizes awarded in individual countries are in various stages of development and delivery by each host nation, depending on the timeframes each national body, be they a foundation, government department, education provider, education authority or regulator, wishes to operate to. They are set up after a formal memorandum of understanding has been agreed and signed by the host nation and the Varkey Foundation.