A Primary School Teacher wins Sh. 111M Global Teacher Prize, Gives Half To losers
This year’s Global Teacher of the year award shifts to India. Ranjitsinh Disale, a 31 year old primary school teacher in India has won the highly coveted prize.
Disale, who developed quick-response coded textbooks for his pupils, bagged Sh111 million in prize money, when he emerged this year’s best Teacher globally. This follows the results of the 2020 Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, announced during a virtual ceremony held on 3rd December 2020.
Traditionally, the annual award is given to an educator who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
Disale replaces Peter Mokaya Tabichi, a Kenyan mathematics and physics teacher at Keriko Mixed Secondary School in Nakuru County, who won the award last year.
Tabichi was recorded in books of history as the first African teacher to bag the so much desired global award and also as the first-ever male teacher to win the Sh. 100 million award.
Recently, Tabichi won the 2020 Ahimsa Award by the Trustees of the Institute of Jainology in London for selfless action and compassion.
Mr. Disale, Tabichi’s successor, has received praises for championing girl child education in rural India and embracing the use of technology in teaching.
“This is such a great honour. I am receiving this award on behalf of millions of students and teachers, who are working hard in these hard times of Covid. Teachers are change-makers. They change the lives of students all over the world,” said Mr. Disale.
This year, the global TOYA attracted over 12,000 nominations and applications from 140 countries. Mr. Disale’s teaching environment is located exactly between a cattle shed and a storeroom, in an area where teenage marriage is prevalent, but he still championed tirelessly for girl child education.
“The curriculum was not in the students’ primary language (Kannada), which meant that many students were unable to achieve expected learning outcomes. After putting in a great deal of effort, Ranjitsinh learned Kannada,” said Varkey Foundation.
Mr. Disale is also credited with redesigning all the textbooks of grades 1-4 for better comprehension, along with unique QR codes that embedded audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments in Kannada.
Through his efforts, the school was the best in the district in 2016, and 98 per cent of the girls completed school.
Initially, Disale was awarded 2016 Innovative Researcher of the Year in India and the National Innovation Foundation’s Innovator of the Year in 2018
Disale confirms he will give sh. 55,000,000 to the other nine finalists so that they share among themselves.
He also plans to launch an initiative to ensure that each year; at least 5000 students from war-afflicted countries are recruited into a Peace Army.