Dubai: Maggie MacDonnell - Ikusik School, Canada has won the prestigious $1 million Global Teacher Prize, according to the announcement made by the organisers on Sunday at a spectacular ceremony organised at the Atlantis hotel on The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
"Maggie MacDonnell, Canadian school teacher from isolated corner of Quebec, wins a $1 million Global Prize for Teaching Excellence", Astronaut Thomas Pesquet announced at the ceremony.
“I’d like to be the first person in history to thank all the world’s teachers from space", he added.
“Congratulations Maggie. At least once a day, as we orbit the earth, I get a view of the Canadian arctic where you teach. You should see how beautiful it looks from 220 miles up.
"And it’s a place that you’re protecting by teaching the next generation how they can take care of it. Thank you Maggie and to all the world’s teachers. See you all back home", he said.
The Award is given every year to honour the educators around the world who have made an outstanding contribution to their field of profession.
The winner of the Global Teacher Prize, the largest of its kind and is awarded under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Every year, Varkey Foundation awards $1 million to one exemplary educator. Dubbed as the “Nobel Prize of teaching,” the prize seeks to recognise the impact of best teachers, not only on their students, but on the communities around them.
In a special congratulatory video message broadcast to the ceremony held at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said: “Maggie MacDonnell – on behalf of all Canadians – from one teacher to another - congratulations on winning the Global Teacher Prize 2017.
The organisers had earlier shortlisted ten teachers from across the world for the award.
Besides the winner Maggie MacDonnell of Canada, nine others are Salima Begum (Elementary College for Women Gilgit, Pakistan), Raymond Chambers (Brooke Weston Academy, United Kingdom), Marie-Christine Ghanbari Jahromi (Gesamtschule Gesche Germany), Tracy-Ann Hall (Jonathan Grant High, Jamaica),
Wemerson de Silva Nogueira (EEEFM Antonio dos Santos Neves, Brazil), Kin Silburn (Casula High School, Australia), Michael Wamava (K.A.G School Kibera, Kenya), David Calle – online, Spain) and Boya Yang (The Affiliated Middle School of Kunming Teachers College, China).
Now in its third year, the US $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to recognize one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.