By Morkporkpor Anku, GNA
Accra, March 20, GNA- A Canadian teacher has been awarded the $1 million Global Teacher Prize 2017 for her work in a remote community.
Madam Maggie MacDonnell teaches at Ikusik School in Salluit, a remote Inuit village in the Canadian arctic.
The Global teacher awards honours outstanding educators for their exemplary leadership and ground breaking work that has affected lasting social change with their students and communities around them.
A statement issued in Accra by Varkey Foundation, organisers of the event, said the prize was presented to Madam MacDonnell by his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the ceremony in Dubai.
The statement also said the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Justin Trudean in a congratulatory message said: "On behalf of all Canadians, from one teacher to another, we congratulate you on winning the Global Teacher Prize 2017."
"I will like to thank you all teachers out there because you teachers owe responsibilities to many people, to students, parents, community and to the school board," he added.
Madam MacDonnell said the nomination process created a means for more than 20,000 teachers to feel valued and revitalized and have their professional commitment validated.
"On a personal note I would like to invite my students to share in this award, as I have won this not for them but with them," she added.
After completing her Master's degree, Madam MacDonnell sought out opportunities to teach indigenous communities in Canada and for the last six years, she has been a teacher in the Canadian arctic.
She has created, a life skills programme, specifically for girls, which has seen a 500 per cent improvement in girl’s registration.
The Award winner also dramatically improved school attendance by getting her students involved in running a community kitchen, attending suicide prevention training and hiking through national parks to understand environmental stewards.
Mr Sunny Varkey, Founder of Varkey Foundation, said: "l will like to congratulate Maggie MacDonnell for winning the Global Teacher Prize for 2017 from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers."
He expressed the hope that Madam Macdonnel’s story would inspire individuals looking to join the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day.
The other nine finalists for the teacher prize 2017 are Raymond Chambers, a computer science teacher from Brooke Weston Academy in Corby, Northamptonshire, UK, Salima Begum, Head teacher at Elementary College for Women Gilgit, Pakistan, David Calle, from Madrid, Spain, the Founder and Creator of the Unicoos educational website and Wemerson da Silva Nogueira, a science teacher at the Escola Antônio dos Santos Neves in Boa Esperança, Brazil.
The rest are Marie-Christine Ghanbari Jahromi, a physical education, maths and German teacher at Gesamtschule Gescher school, in Gescher, Germany, Tracy-Ann Hall, an automotive technology teacher at Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Yang Boya, a psychology teacher at The Affiliated Middle School of Kunming Teachers College, China and Michael Wamaya, a dance teacher from Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya.