Palestinian wins global teachers' award for valuing play

Mar 17, 2016 A Palestinian school teacher, Hanan Al Hroub, recently won a $1 million education award from world leaders for helping children learn through play.

Hanan, who teaches at the Samiha Khalil High School in the Palestinian city of Al-Bireh, was presented with the award in the United Arab Emirates.

The Global Teacher Prize was set up by the Varkey Foundation after a 2013 survey found a decline in the profession’s status.

Palestinian wins global teachers' award for valuing play

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Japanese finalist Kazuya Takahashi said he was inspired to become a teacher by his teachers and hoped he could in turn to inspire his students to become teachers themselves.

“Looking back on my life, I have been blessed with many good teachers. For a long time, it has been my dream to be like them. I am really happy to be able to do what the teachers I look up to, do,”


The winner was announced by Pope Francis in a video message to the ceremony, which was chaired by UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Speaking after the event, Hroub, who has detailed her approach in a book entitled ‘We Play and Learn’, said:

“You are the power. You are the true power. Believe in your ideas, work on them, convince people of your ideas, challenge the whole world, convince people of your ideas so you can spread them and you will find yourself here. (It all starts with) an idea,”

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