Special needs teacher Mohamed Mohtady Mohamed from Anas bin Al Nadr School for Basic and Secondary Education, Fujairah, has been included in the top 50 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2020 in partnership with UNESCO. Now in its sixth year, the US$1 million award is the largest prize of its kind.
Mohamed, shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, was selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world.
He teaches boys from sixth to twelfth grade at a school in a remote area of Fujairah, where there are many obstacles to effective learning – including language barriers, a higher than average rate of disabilities, and undiagnosed health problems.
To tackle these obstacles, Mohamed treats each student as unique and responds to their individual learning style. Therapeutic teaching is given to students with anxiety, and established strategies are used with students who have an attention deficit or lack of focus. With students that are visually impaired, Mohamed pursues a mixture of individual learning, sound recording, and converting visual lessons to audiobooks using iPads and tablets.
A core part of Mohamed’s teaching practice is sharing knowledge among the teaching profession. He is a member of the UAE teacher training team for ordinary and special education – helping achieve the government’s vision of improving education by applying modern learning strategies – and has contributed to creative sessions at the UAE Ministry of Health and Education to generate innovative ideas.
Mohamed has organised student participation at events like the Khorfakkan International Championship for the Disabled, as well as programmes for the cleaning and protection of beaches and nature reserves. A number of his students have also won prizes at national mathematics and school Olympics competitions, and as a result of Mohamed’s contribution to education and the children he has helped, he has been recognised with many awards and is honoured to chair the Special Education Committee of the Teachers’ Council at the Ministry of Education.
Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, said, "We’d like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for creating such a powerful platform to celebrate the world’s teachers. Nurtured in Dubai over the last six years, the global teacher prize ceremony has become a great gift to the world, which will now move to new host cities, spreading its message into every corner of the globe.
"Now, more than ever, we must celebrate the world’s teachers. As we start this new decade, the world is facing some of its greatest challenges – from climate change and conflict to growing inequality and global pandemics. Only by teachers sparking the light of curiosity as well as passing on knowledge and wisdom will we shape a better future for everyone."
With ten years to go to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 - providing a quality education for every child - the Global Teacher Prize has partnered with UNESCO to ensure teachers are right at the top of governments’ agendas.
The Prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.
The top 50 shortlisted teachers are narrowed down to ten finalist teachers by a Prize Committee, with that result announced in June 2020. The winner will then be chosen from these ten finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy. All ten finalists will be invited to London for the Award ceremony at the Natural History Museum on Monday 12 October 2020, where the winner will be announced live on stage.
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