Palestinian Wins Global Teacher Prize

Hanan Al Hroub, a teacher from a refugee camp in Palestine won USD one million Global Teacher Prize, beating nine other finalists from around the world.

Hroub runs the Samiha Khalil High School in Al-Bireh, Palestine, where she uses a specialist approach she developed herself detailed in her book ‘We Play and Learn’ to overcome tense environments of the region under the shadow of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“Violence and Israeli occupation surrounds us from all sides and imposes itself and leaks to each corner of educational process and its components, so our task is complicated as we see daily the suffering in the eyes of our students and our teachers. We want our children to live peacefully, as all children of the world,” she said, in her part English and part Arabic acceptance speech.

Hroub’s approach has led to a decline in violent behaviour in schools where this was a frequent occurrence and she has inspired her colleagues to review the way they teach and their classroom management strategies.

About ‘Global Teacher Prize’:

The Global Teacher Prize, now in its second year, was set up by Kerala-born entrepreneur and educational philanthropist Sunny Varkey to recognise 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.

Hollywood stars Matthew McConaughey and Salma Hayek and Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra joined former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, at the gala awards ceremony in Dubai.

Hanan Al Hroub also beat India’s Robin Chaurasiya, who runs a not-for-profit school in Mumbai for girls from the city’s red light district of Kamatipura, and eight other finalists to bag the Varkey Foundation’s prize at the end of the annual Global Education and Skills Forum.