Hanan al-Hroub, a Palestinian Teacher was awarded the second annual Global Teacher prize at a gala in Dubai. She was one of ten finalists from all over the world.
Prince William and Pope Francis congratulated her via video link. al-Hroub works with children traumatized by violence and has developed her own pedagogical approach to teaching based on developing nurturing behaviors in young students.
As a condition of winning, al-Hroub is required to remain in the classroom teaching for at least five years. She told The Guardian that she plans to spend the money on helping students and teachers.
In her acceptance speech, al-Hroub said, “I am proud to be a Palestinian female teacher standing on this stage. I accept this as a win for all teachers in general and Palestinian teachers in particular
The star-studded ceremony included tributes from the actors Matthew McConaughey and Salma Hayek, as well as a number of politicians.
The former US president Bill Clinton addressed the 10 candidates in a video message, saying: “You don’t hear it often enough, but your work is truly heroic.”
This year’s finalists were drawn from around the world, including the UK, Pakistan, Kenya, Palestine, the US, Japan, Finland, Australia and India.
The winner receives $1m (£706,000) and will be asked to serve as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation, attending events and speaking about their work.
But they are also required to remain working as a classroom teacher for at least five years as a condition of winning the award.