Eric Asomani Asante, an ICT teacher at Naylor SDA Basic School, in Tema, Ghana, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2023 organised in collaboration with UNESCO and in strategic partnership with Dubai Cares, a UAE-based global philanthropic organisation.
Eric was selected from over 7,000 nominations and applications from 130 countries around the world. Despite a lack of ICT facilities and internet connection at his school, he showed great innovation by connecting all computer monitors to one system and developing an offline website for teaching computing skills without needing the internet, sharing his solution with thousands of other ICT teachers and gifting computers and textbooks to schools across Ghana.
Now in its eighth year, the USD 1 million Global Teacher Prize is the largest prize of its kind.
It 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. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world.
His Excellency, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said:
“Teaching is not only about sharing knowledge; it also includes playing a pivotal role in guiding children and youth towards a path of lifelong learning, empowering them to make an impact within their communities and countries and driving the future of humanity by becoming global citizens. We congratulate the teachers who have earned a place in the top 10 list of the Global Teacher Prize 2023. Making it this far is a reflection of your commitment, hard work and dedication to your profession. As a strong advocate of the role of teachers in driving human development, Dubai Cares looks forward to celebrating this noble profession at the Global Teacher Prize ceremony in Paris.”
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education at UNESCO, said:
“Congratulations, Eric! We look forward to welcoming you to the Global Teacher Prize ceremony, hosted by UNESCO at our headquarters in Paris. Inspirational teachers such as Eric deserve recognition for their commitments to preparing children and youth to navigate a rapidly evolving world. Teachers play a leading role in transforming education for the future.”
Eric Asomani Asante is a hardworking young man with a great passion for imparting knowledge to others and decided to become an ICT teacher. As part of his teaching work, he has faced a number of challenges – including a lack of adequate computers to facilitate practical lessons, and a lack of Internet connectivity. To tackle these problems, Eric innovated by connecting one computer system to thirty pupils’ monitors, and by developing an offline website that enables him to teach Internet topics in the absence of internet connectivity. He has subsequently shared this solution with thousands of other ICT teachers.
Eric has also published computing textbooks that are approved by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Thanks to his input and unwavering support, his students now achieve better grades in ICT than any other subject, and many have gone on to pursue computing in higher education.
He is also a philanthropist, donating 160 computers and thousands of science and ICT textbooks to deprived schools across Ghana. In 2020, Eric was named Ghana’s Most Outstanding Teacher in the National Teaching Council’s “Ghana Teacher Prize”, and in 2022, he became the winner of the National Best STEM Teacher award.
Sunny Varkey, founder of the Global Teacher Prize, said:
“Congratulations to Eric for reaching the final 10. His story clearly highlights the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to war and conflict. It is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”
The full list of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2023 are Annie Ohana from Canada, Deep Narayan Nayak from India, Shafina Vohra from the United Kingdom, Sister Zeph from Pakistan, Eric Asomani Asante from Ghana, Mariette Wheeler from South Africa, Melissa Tracy from the United States, Geisha Bonilla from Chile, Nicolas Gaube from France and Artur Proidakov from Ukraine.
Dubai Cares’ long-standing support for the Global Teacher Prize stems from its belief that an investment in teachers is an investment in human development. Through its Framework for Global Education Transformation, Dubai Cares is committed to elevating the role of educators as coaches, mentors and facilitators as well as positioning them as “Human Experience Teachers” who can nurture students and empower them with the values, skills, knowledge and experiences they need to face the complexities and challenges of the future.
Applications and nominations for this year’s Global Teacher Prize opened on 6 May 2023 and closed on 25 June 2023. The prize is open to working teachers who teach children that are in compulsory schooling or are between the ages of five and eighteen. Teachers who teach children age 4+ in an Early Years government-recognised curriculum are also eligible, as are teachers who teach on a part-time basis, and teachers of online courses. Teachers must spend at least 10 hours per week teaching and plan to remain in the profession for the next 5 years. It is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.
Teachers applying for the Global Teacher Prize are assessed on teaching practices, how they innovate to address local challenges, achieve demonstrable learning outcomes, impact the community beyond the classroom, help children become global citizens, improve the teaching profession and gain recognition from external bodies.
Interested teachers were able to apply for the Global Teacher Prize at www.globalteacherprize.org.
Helping to raise the bar of respect for the teaching profession, the winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.
When teachers are nominated, the person nominating them writes a brief description online explaining why. The teacher being nominated is then sent an email letting them know they have been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize. Applicants could apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. To join the conversation online, please follow @TeacherPrize.