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Kenyan teacher nominated for the Sh148m Global Teacher Prize

Kenyan teacher Millicent Cassianes has been nominated for the 2023 prestigious Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.

Her selection came after a rigorous process that saw her stand out from over 7,000 nominees and applicants representing more than 130 countries, all vying for the esteemed Sh148,500,000 ($1 million) prize.

Cassianes, who teaches at the BL Tezza Special School for the Deaf in Karunga, Kenya, is one of 50 people shortlisted for the prize.

She has worked with special needs students ever since starting her job with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

After encountering students with severe hearing loss and infections at an orphanage, she decided to receive hospital training in how to care for those with support needs.

After enrolling in Kenyan Sign Language classes, Cassianes enrolled in the BL Tezza Special School for the Deaf.

In addition to obtaining donations from various organizations, such as the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya, she also took out a bank loan to finance the construction of the school.

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The school is currently home to over 120 hearing-impaired students and implements a competency-based curriculum.

The competition which is in its eighth year now, receives tens of thousands of entries and nominations from around the world and is considered the “Nobel Prize in Teaching”.

The prize will now be narrowed down to the top ten finalists, who will be announced later this year, helping to raise the bar of respect for the teaching profession.

The Global Teacher Prize Academy, comprised of prominent individuals, will select the winner from the top ten finalists, who will be announced later this year.

This nomination comes two years after another Kenyan teacher, Peter Tabichi, won the Global Teacher Prize in 2019.

Tabichi, a mathematics and physics teacher, used this platform to advocate for STEM learning among African youth. Regardless of the outcome, Cassianes’s story will continue to inspire educators worldwide and highlight the crucial role that teachers play in shaping the future of young people.

The Global Teacher Prize is organized in collaboration with UNESCO and in partnership with Dubai Cares, a global philanthropic organization based in the United Arab Emirates.

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