“Having a great teacher can be the most important factor that determines whether students get a great education…”

In a post on Twitter this week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates appeared in a video to announce the 10 finalists shortlisted for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. In the video, Gates also included a special thanks to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


Well, the prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation, a UAE-based non-profit organisation under the patronage of the vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

The annual Global Teacher Prize, a Dhs3.67 million (US$1 million) award, is given each year to a teacher who goes above and beyond, making an outstanding contribution to their profession.

But more than this, it also aims to recognise teachers for the true heroes that they are.

In the video message paying tribute to the finalists, Gates says: “When you think about what drives progress and improvement in the world, education is like a master switch – one that opens up all sorts of opportunities for individuals and societies.

“And research has shown that having a great teacher can be the most important factor that determines whether students get a great education.”

Sheikh Mohammed’s bid to boost education in the Arab world

Sheikh Mohammed has always been passionate about education. In 2016, the Ruler of Dubai launched an initiative to establish 2000 libraries across the Arab world. Speaking at the time, he said: “If we want to open doors of hope to millions, we must open the doors for them to science and knowledge.”

The Varkey Foundation was first established to improve the standards of education worldwide. Inaugurated in 2015, this year, the Global Teacher Prize awarding ceremony will take place on March 18, coinciding with final day of Dubai’s Global Education and Skills Forum.

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