Maharashtra schoolteacher Ranjitsinh Disale reacts on being announced as the winner of the USD 1mn Global Teacher Prize 2020, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.
Education

Indian schoolteacher wins USD 1 million Global Teacher Prize 2020 for promoting girls’ education – education

An Indian primary school teacher was named the winner of the annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 of USD 1 million on Thursday in recognition of his efforts to advance girls’ education and spark a revolution of quick-response coded textbooks (QR ) in India.

Ranjitsinh Disale, 32, from Paritewadi village in the Solapur district of Maharashtra, was the winner of 10 finalists from around the world of the annual award founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2014 to recognize an exceptional teacher who has made a contribution. outstanding to the profession.

Disale, who believes that teachers are the “true change makers” of the world, announced that he will share 50% of the prize money with his fellow finalists to support his “incredible work.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed education and the communities it serves in many ways. But in this difficult time, teachers are doing everything they can to make sure all students have access to their birthright to a good education, ”Disale said.

“Teachers are the true change makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mix of chalk and challenge. They always believe in giving and sharing. And so I am pleased to announce that I will share 50% of the prize money equally among my fellow Top 10 Finalists to support their incredible work. I believe that together we can change this world because sharing is growing, ”he said.

His generous gesture means that the other nine finalists will receive just over $ 55,000 each, as he made history as the first winner to share his cash prize.

“By sharing the prize money, you teach the world the importance of giving,” said Sunny Varkey, Indian education philanthropist, founder of the prize.

“Now I encourage you to use this platform to give voice to all teachers. There is not a moment to lose as young people will be tasked with finding solutions to problems that their parents and grandparents have not had the will to solve, including climate change, conflicts and global pandemics, “he said.

In another first, the announcement of the 2020 Global Teacher Prize winner was made in a virtual ceremony broadcast from London’s Natural History Museum by British actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry.

“Masters like Ranjitsinh will stop climate change and build more peaceful and just societies. Masters like Ranjitsinh will eliminate inequalities and boost economic growth. Teachers like Ranjitsinh will save our future, ”said Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), partner of the initiative.

When Disale arrived at Zilla Parishad Primary School in Paritewadi in Solapur in 2009, it was a dilapidated building, between a shed and a warehouse.

She took on the task of turning things around and making sure that textbooks were available in the local language for students and not only translated the class textbooks into her students’ native language, but also incorporated them with codes Unique QR so students could access audio poems. , video lectures, stories and assignments.

The impact of their interventions has been that now no adolescent marriages have been reported in the village and 100% of the girls attend school.

Disale’s school became the first in the state of Maharashtra to introduce QR codes and, after submitting a successful pilot plan and proposal, the state ministry announced in 2017 that they would introduce textbooks with QR codes statewide for all grades.

In 2018, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced that all National Council for Research and Training in Education (NCERT) textbooks would have built-in QR codes.

Disale is also passionate about peacebuilding among youth in conflict zones and, through the “Cross the Borders” project, connects youth from India and Pakistan, Palestine and Israel, Iraq and Iran, and the United States. and North Korea.

During a six-week program, students are paired with a fellow peacemaker from other countries with whom they interact closely. So far, Disale has initiated an incredible 19,000 students from eight countries into this program.

In addition, using the Microsoft Educator Community platform, the enterprising teacher spends his weekends taking students from resource-depleted schools around the world on virtual field trips.

He is known for demonstrating science experiments from the science lab he has built at home.

Disale was selected from the top 10 finalists out of more than 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries, along with Olasunkanmi Opeifa from Nigeria, Jamie Frost from the UK, Carlo Mazzone from Italy, Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba from South Africa, Leah Juelke from the USA. From the USA, Yun Jeong -hyun from South Korea, Samuel Isaiah from Malaysia, Hà Ánh Phượng from Vietnam and Doani Emanuela Bertan from Brazil.

The Global Teacher Prize is paid in equal installments over 10 years, and the Varkey Foundation provides financial advice and support to winners through a role as an ambassador for the profession.

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