Four teachers from India and two from Pakistan have made the shortlist for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize 2016. Now in its second year, the Global Teacher Prize is often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for Teaching’ and recognizes one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution …Read More »
The 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has been revealed and this year it’s a celebration of India. From the Naxalite uprising in Kolkata in the 1960’s and 70’s to the contemporary conflict in Kashmir taking in child abuse and urban expansion along the way, this year’s shortlist celebrates …Read More »
Teachers from India have been urged to apply for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize, which honours the world’s best educators. Now in its second year and widely referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Teaching”, the GTP is awarded by the Varkey Foundation, the charitable arm of billionaire Dubai-based …Read More »
Most people know teenage Pakistani education campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai but few have heard of the 19th century Afghan heroine she was named after.
According to Pashtun tradition, Malalai of Maiwand spurred her countrymen to victory against British troops in 1880, taking to the battlefield to rally a demoralised Afghan force with a verse about martyrdom.
She was later struck down and killed.
The legend is recounted in "He Named Me Malala", a new documentary about Yousafzai, now 18, whose attack while riding a school bus shocked the world.
"You named her after a girl who spoke out and was killed. It's almost as if you said she'd be different," director Davis Guggenheim tells Yousafzai's father, Ziauddin, in the film.
"You're right," he replies.
Filmed over 18 months, the intimate portrait shows a teenager more at ease on the world stage - speaking at U.N. headquarters in New York - or addressing students in Syrian refugee camps than with classmates in Britain where she was flown for surgery.
"In this new school, it's hard," she says, admitting a lack of shared experiences with the other girls.
While much is known about the advocacy work carried out by Yousafzai – who was shot and almost killed by the Pakistani Taliban in October 2012 for calling for girls to go to school - the documentary lifts the lid on her family life in Birmingham with much humour generated by her two brothers.
"She's a little bit naughty," says Yousafzai's youngest brother, who she introduces as "a good boy" in contrast to her other brother who she calls "the laziest one".
She giggles when asked if she would ever ask a boy on a date.
Using archive footage and voice recordings of Islamist leader Fazlullah, the documentary captures the steady crackdown on freedoms in Yousafzai's native Swat Valley, including schools destroyed by bombs and music CDs burned.
Encouraged by her teacher father, Yousafzai began blogging for the BBC at the age of 11. Writing anonymously, she described life under the harsh edicts of the Taliban, bombed-out schools, executions under the cover of dark and girls' education limited to reading the Koran.
She later made public appearances in Swat Valley, calling for girls' right to an education.
"My father and my mother both inspired me to believe in myself. In a society where women's rights are not respected, my parents gave me examples," Yousafzai said at a screening of the documentary in Washington DC this week.
"There's a moment where you have to choose to be silent or to stand up," she says in the film. "My father only gave me the name Malala, he didn't make me Malala. I chose this life and now I must continue it."
Ziauddin Yousafzai said the film was not the story of one family but millions suffering because of war and conflict, adding that millions of Syrian children had been deprived of an education.
"When you meet these girls, their passion and taste for education it is remarkable. They want to learn," he said in Washington.
"In the global south, in developing countries, most of the children fight every day to get educated. Many families have sold their whole property – their cows, their farm and everything to get their children educated."
Yousafzai's Malala Fund, which supports girls' secondary education, wants the film to be shown in schools to inspire students to stand against bullying, racism and human rights violations.
The movie opens in theatres in the United States from Oct. 2 before it is released in Britain on 6 November.Read More »
An English teacher from the United States has won the inaugural Global Teacher Prize awarded by billionaire Indian businessman Sunny Varkey's Varkey Foundation.
Nancie Atwell from Maine was honoured for more than four decades of work as an innovator and pioneer in teaching literature. She plans to donate her $1 million prize to the Center for Teaching and Learning which she founded in 1990 in Edgecomb, Maine as a nonprofit demonstration school created for the purpose of developing and disseminating teaching methods.
The school says 97 percent of its graduates have gone on to university.
Atwell said that winning the award is a valedictory for her life's work, but that her true validation comes from the responses of students.
"I really find that I'm validated every day just by the experiences I have with children in the classroom," she told The Associated Press after receiving the award.
Atwell was selected from a pool of 1,300 applicants from 127 countries.
The top 10 finalists, which included two other teachers from the U.S. and others from Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Cambodia, Malaysia, Kenya, and the U.K., were flown to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the ceremony.
The winner was announced on stage by Dubai-based Mr Varkey, founder of the GEMS education company and whose foundation focuses on education issues.
The award was created to be the largest prize of its kind and to serve as a sort-of Nobel Prize for one exceptional teacher each year.
After Atwell won the award, a young boy no older than 11 with a book bag strapped to his back waited patiently with his mother for a photograph with the winning teacher.
Varkey said that the award is aimed at fostering that kind of admiration for teachers and to say "to a celebrity-obsessed world that teachers are important and worthy of respect."
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who is honorary chair of the Varkey Foundation, were also on-hand to give Atwell the award.
Atwell has received numerous other awards throughout her life for her innovative approach to teaching.
She has authored nine books about teaching, including "In The Middle," which sold more than half a million copies.
"The other recognition I've received has been content-area specific," she said. "This is global... this is really an award for a body of work, for a lifetime of teaching."
Hundreds of teachers have visited her center in Maine over the years to learn its writing-reading practices.
Her school's eighth grade students read an average of 40 books per year, compared to the national average of about 10. They also write extensively, and many of her students have gone on to become published authors.
All of her students choose the subjects they write about and the books they read. The school's website boasts that there is "never a raised voice or standardized test," but that there are tens of thousands of books and time to read from among them every day.
"If we want them to be highly literate, we have to value the power of stories and self-expression," she said, explaining her approach. "Anything else is a false choice. Anything else will be an exercise that gets kids good at doing exercises."
This is the first year for the Global Teacher Prize to be awarded, though the Varkey Foundation plans it to be an annual event.
Experts, including other teachers and school administrators, shortlisted the top 50 finalists and a prize committee helped select the top 10. The winner was then selected by a group of more than 60 people that included CEO's, investors, professors, journalists and public figures such as Oscar Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and Grammy Award-winning artist Esperanza Spalding.Read More »
The accolades keep piling up for Kamila Shamsie for her sprawling and beautiful work ‘A God in Every Stone’. The British Pakistani author is among 20 outstanding authors long-listed for the 2015 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction which will be announced this summer. The list features an incredible array of …Read More »
Children’s rights campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi will deliver the key note speech at the annual British Asian Trust (BAT) dinner on 3 February, organizers have announced. During his talk, Mr Satyarthi, who shared the 2014 Nobel prize with Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, is expected to …Read More »
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri has won the DSC Prize for South Asian fiction, the third straight year a writer of Indian origin has carried off the annual $50,000 prize that recognises the region’s top literary talent. Lahiri, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, was the best-known author …Read More »
#VIDEO: ‘There are many purposes I would die for. None I would kill for’. Malala, Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize.
Teenage Pakistani education rights activist Malala Yousafzai today became the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate after officially receiving the prize at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
The 17-year-old showed no signs of nerves as she received the 24-carat Nobel medal and diploma alongside co-winner Kailash Satyarthi, the renowned Indian children’s rights campaigner, before an audience that included members of the Norwegian royal family as well as a slew of celebrities including rocker Steven Tyler and actress and rapper Queen Latifah.
Malala didn’t bat an eyelid even as she was interrupted by a young student wielding a Mexican flag.
The young man is believed to have arrived claiming asylum in Norway earlier this week but had somehow managed to enter the venue despite tight security.
Whilst there hasn’t been confirmation about what he was protesting about, it is believed that he wanted to raise the issue of the 43 Mexican students recently kidnapped and murdered by a drug cartel.
Before the disruption, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee had spoken about Malala and Satyarthi’s shared values.
Thorbjorn Jagland said: "Satyarthi and Yousafzai are precisely the people whom Alfred Nobel in his will calls 'champions of peace'. A young girl and a somewhat older man, one from Pakistan and one from India, one Muslim, the other Hindu; both symbols of what the world needs: more unity. Fraternity between the nations.”
Mr Jagland also invoked the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and how both Satyarthi and Yousafzai were perpetuating his teachings.
"The two whom we honour here today stand very firm on this point. They live according to a principle Mahatma Gandhi gave expression to. He said: 'There are many purposes I would have died for. There are no purposes I would have killed for'".
In its official citation, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee said Ms Yousafzai and Mr Satyarthi were honoured for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
Hours before the ceremony Malala had declared her ambition of becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Accepting her award, she showed she certainly the confidence and public speaking skills for the job, moving many in the audience – including Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit - to tears whilst also eliciting plenty of laughs.
“I’m humbled that the Nobel Committee has selected me for this precious award. I’m very proud to be the first Pashtu and first Pakistani to receive this award. Along with that, I’m pretty certain that I’m the first recipient who still fights with her younger brothers”, she said.
“I want peace everywhere but my brothers and I are still working on that”, Malala added.
Dressed in a grey sweater over her orange Shalwar Kameez and veiled in a simple salmon-coloured shawl, Malala thanked her father for “not clipping my wings and letting me fly”, which attracted rapturous applause.
Satyarthi - who has campaigned for children’s rights for “twice as long as I have lived”, as described by Malala – said: "There is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of our children.
"I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom”.
The two campaigners will share the $1.4 million dollar prize.
Watch the full ceremony here:Read More »
Kiran Bir Sethi Three teachers from India are among fifty exceptional educators long-listed for the inaugural $1 million Global Teacher Prize, a new charity initiative aimed at finding the finest teaching professionals from around the world. Kiran Bir Sethi of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad; Hira Prasad of the Birla …Read More »