UK teacher wins whopping $1 mln in Dubai Global Teacher prize ceremony

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Andria Zafirakou, a UK teacher based in the inner city borough of Brent, has won the prestigious Global Teacher Prize award which includes a whopping $1 million for being the “best teacher in the world”.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, presented her the award at the ceremony on Sunday which is considered the fourth annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher prize.

The foundation focuses on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world. Zafirakou is an arts and textiles teacher in the poor borough of Brent at the Alperton school.

“Every single culture you can think of exists here. We have approximately 35 different languages being spoken in our school. We have 85% of our students who have got English as an additional language, and this provides challenges,” Zafirakou said.

She’s learned the basics of many of the 35 languages in order to reach out and relate to her students.

“I teach arts and textiles and they are powerful subjects, it helps students unlock all of their language barriers,” she added.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum congratulated Zafirakou in a tweet saying that every teacher is a star that serve as the best guide for future generations.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also congratulated Zafirakou, saying that she was requires resilience, ingenuity and a generous heart, which is what the Alperton School teacher possesses.

Zafirakou was part of 10 finalist teachers who were chosen from a pool of 30,000 nominees from around the world, including from the US, Belgium and the Philippines.

The ceremony was hosted by Trevor Noah and attended by Charlize Theron and priyanka Chopra.