A Nepali teacher has been shortlisted for Global Teacher Prize.
Binod Shahi is among the 50 contenders competing for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. He has been shortlisted from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.
“Binod’s students in Upper Dolpa in the High Himalayas live a semi-nomadic life. So staying in a classroom and the curriculum itself are strange to them. The region is isolated, and the students’ language, Kham-Tibetan, and culture are quite different from Binod’s own, which is Nepali. He has worked hard to provide context for his students, relating his teaching to their everyday experiences” Varkey Foundation’s website writes about Shahi.
“When he first went to Upper Dolpa in 2005 to teach, the civil war in Nepal was at its peak. The region barely had any state presence, and the nearest road was 8-10 days’ walk away. He took two flights and walked for eight days, crossing two 5000m mountain passes, to get to villages with no electricity and without telecommunication.”
“I feel honored”, said the native of Bhudunkhel, Kathmandu. “We are running a Nepali-funded school project and we will keep it solely Nepali-funded. If I win the award, the prize money will be used to support other youths in Dolpa or other regions with fellow teachers.”
“And we will use it for curriculum development according to local context. I have a dream to see the youths to go to remote areas and contribute as education should be action rather than just knowledge. We are working on that”, he further said.
Considered as the ‘Nobel Prize for Teaching’, the prize is sponsored by the Varkey Foundation, a non-profit organization working to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.
“The prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them”, says the organization about the prestigious prize.
The top 50 shortlisted teachers will be narrowed down to 10 finalists by a committee and the results will be announced in February, 2018. All of the 10 finalists would then be invited to Dubai for the award ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) on March 18, 2018; where the winner will be announced.
The prize is being awarded annually since 2015 “to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.” Nancie Atwell of the US, Hanan Al Hroub of Palestine and Maggie Macdonnell of Canada have won the prize in previous years.
Cover Photo: Prasuna Dongol