A primary school teacher at Richard Akwei Memorial Basic School in Accra, Robert Gariba Gbari, has been included in the top 50 shortlist for the US$1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019.
The teachers shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2019 were selected from over 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries around the world.
The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognize 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. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world.
Robert Gariba Gbarihas made outstanding contributions to education in Ghana including using computers and supportive teaching techniques to ensure children with special educational needs, learning disabilities and cerebral palsy are well educated; carries out sight and hearing tests on children being admitted to the school and referring any who need specialist health help and treatment; and mentors resources teachers and facilitate workshops for them, helping them to identify signs and strategies for them to cope with any specific learning difficulties in their own classrooms.
He has campaigned for individual students with learning difficulties to be allowed to use laptops and have extra time in exam situations, in pursuit of inclusive education opportunities. He has also pioneered task analysis, group working and self-learning approaches with his students; supplied software and laptop assistance to boost the achievement of his special educational needs students and seen 90% of them transition to different levels in vocational training institutions and go on to successful jobs afterwards.
The top 50 shortlist has representatives from 39 countries and by highlighting their stories the Varkey Foundation hopes that the public will be able to join in passionate debates about the importance of teachers.
The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday 24 March 2019.
Last month, The Varkey Foundation released the Global Teacher Status Index 2018, which showed for the very first time that there is a direct link between teacher status and pupil performance as measured by PISA scores. Countries which have higher teacher status are more likely to record higher PISA scores. This new finding for the 2018 Index shows that high teacher status is not just a nice to have – increasing it is likely, all things being equal, to lead to greater student outcomes in that country.
Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize, congratulated Robert for reaching the final 50 and said I hope “his story inspires those looking to enter the teaching profession and highlights the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day.”
The top 50 shortlisted teachers are narrowed down to ten finalist teachers by a Prize Committee, with that result announced in February 2019. The winner will then be chosen from these ten finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy. All ten finalists will be invited to Dubai for the Award ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) on Sunday 24 March next year, where the winner will be announced live on stage.