Be Inspired By This Year’s Global Teacher Prize Winner

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We’ve all had at least one teacher who was inspiring and spurred us onto greater things. We think the winner of this year’s Global Teacher Prize is truly inspiring – and it’s so sweet to watch his reaction to winning this year’s prize!

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Ranjitsinh Disale, a school teacher in a village in India, was announced as the world’s most exceptional teacher winning the Global Teacher Prize, coming out top of over 12,000 other teacher nominees.

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We think you’ll enjoy watching the moment he won, as well as the video about this teacher, his village, his school and his approach. It’s truly inspiring.

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Meet This Year’s Global Teacher Prize Winner

Ranjitsinh was praised for improving the education of disadvantaged girls. And even nicer, he announced that he was sharing half of his $1m prize money with the nine runners-up in the top 10 finalists of the competition. The rest of the prize money will help to fund schools and students.

About the Global Teacher Prize

The Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million prize awarded to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the teaching profession.

The award – the equivalent of a ‘Nobel Prize’ for teachers – underlines the importance of the teaching profession and symbolises the fact that teachers throughout the world deserve to be recognised and celebrated.

The winning candidate is a teacher who has:

  • achieved exceptional results in student learning
  • won the respect of the community through activities beyond the classroom provided a role model to other teachers through charity, community work or other cultural achievements
  • encouraged other teachers to join the profession and contributed to discussions and debates about how to raise teaching standards
  • opened up access to a quality education for children of all backgrounds
  • prepared young people to be ‘global citizens’, comfortable with peers from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

About This Year’s Global Teacher Prize Winner Ranjitsinh Disale

Ranjitsinh Disale, teaches young girls at the Zilla Parishad Primary School in Paritewadi, Solapur, Maharashtra in India.

Originally he planned to be an IT engineer, but when it didn’t work out as planned, Ranjitsinh’s father suggested teacher training. Initially hesitant, Ranjitsinh’s time in teacher training college was life-changing. He saw that teachers can be real change-makers in the world, and decided to become one.

The first school he taught in was in a dilapidated building, situated between a store room and a cattle shed. Most of his pupils were girls from tribal communities that did not prioritise girls’ education, with the practice of teenage marriage being common.

Additionally, the taught curriculum was not provided in the students’ primary language, Kannada, which meant that many students were unable to understand and therefore to achieve expected learning outcomes.

After putting in a great deal of effort, Ranjitsinh learned Kannada, and redesigned all the grade 1-4 textbooks for better comprehension, along with unique QR codes that embedded audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments in Kannada.

These QR coded books also benefited many girls when schools were closed for two months due to a terror attack, as they were able to continue learning using the books.

Students now reflect on, discuss and showcase what they are learning to a far greater extent – developing communication, creativity and real-world problem-solving skills.

As a result of these efforts, the school was awarded Best School for the district in 2016, and 98 per cent of students have achieved their expected learning outcomes before completing the school year.

In terms of his wider impact, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recognized Ranjitsinh’s work including him in his book Hit Refresh. The central government named Ranjitsinh 2016 Innovative Researcher of the Year, and he also won the National Innovation Foundation’s Innovator of the Year award in 2018.

He has written more than 500 newspaper articles and blogs, as well as participating in television discussions on educational topics to help share his methods and teaching approach.

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Have your say! What did you think of Ranjitsinh’s reaction to winning the Global Teacher Prize? Isn’t his story inspiring? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Be inspired by this year's Global Teacher Prize Winner

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