The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

The prize continues to mark the importance of educators and celebrate their contribution, giving them the due credit they deserve. It recognises the difference the very best teacher makes not only on their students but the surrounding communities too.

You asked: Who is behind the “Nobel Prize of Teaching.”

The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.

The Birth of Global Teacher Prize

Half a decade back, in 2013, the Varkey Foundation commissioned Populus, the leading research and strategy consultancy, to survey 21 nations, investigating their approach towards teaching as a profession. The in-depth research covered areas such as teachers’ salaries, students’ attitudes towards educators and how participants rated their education systems.

The result was mind-boggling! For the first time, the ugly truth was on the plate, providing an accurate picture of how teachers were viewed across the world.

It was quite clear that in several countries the profession’s status had dropped at light speed. This was explicit terrible news to Sunny Varkey, the Varkey Foundation’s Chairman, who was shocked as both his parents had been teachers. And, as a befitting reply, he founded the Global Teacher Prize with the aim of raising the profession’s profile.

You asked: Why Teachers.

It is glaring evidence, that lack of education is a driving force behind several social, political, economic and health issues faced by the world today. Education has the power to reduce poverty, prejudice and conflict.

Winners of Global Teacher Prize:

 Nancie Atwell

Hanan Al Hroub 

Maggie MacDonnell

Andria Zafirakou


Indians Educators who made it to the top 10 finalists for Global Teacher Prize Award

Kiran Bir Sethi

In 2001, Kiran set up her own school in Ahmedabad, India. Central to Kiran’s teaching method is a simplified Design Thinking approach that leads students to understand empathetically rather than just intellectually and puts academic learning into a real-world context. 

Robin Chaurasiya

Robin helped organise a successful campaign to change US armed forces policy after being forced to leave her position as an Air Force officer because of her sexuality. The experience inspired her to go into teaching and to found an NGO in India called Kranti.

Final takeaway:

Global Teacher Prize is making a real difference to the profession and having a very positive effect at both, the grassroots level and on the global stage.

We need more such initiatives, that identify and recognise some of the best teachers around the world.

Until then, nominate a teacher you think is doing groundbreaking work but is yet to be acknowledged.




Devarshi Pandya

Devarshi Pandya

Devarshi is no Angie Fox but she writes conversational content on Education. She is an enthusiastic writer, active twitterati and a die-hard Buzzfeed Fan.
She brings along her experience in extensive research and branding. A passionate writer by day and an avid reader by night she packages for a blend of technical and creative write-ups.
Devarshi Pandya

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