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UAE PE teacher in Top 50 shortlist of Global Teacher Prize

The winners of the US$1 million award will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy

Dubai, Sept 10, 2021: A physical education (PE) teacher from Abu Dhabi is in the top 50 list of contenders for the Global Teacher Prize 2021. PE teacher Riadh Zammali has been included in the top 50 shortlist for the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2021 in partnership with UNESCO.

Tunisian national Riadh Zammali was selected from more than 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world. He grew up with a passion to help students develop their skills and character through PE. Working in rural areas of Tunisia, where there is little infrastructure or equipment to practice PE, he launched and led a number of PE school clubs, as well as the first sports associations for girls.

Currently Riadh is teaching at Abu Dhabi’s Gyathi Centre Zayed Higher Organisation, where he introduced innovative new approaches to SEN (Special Educational Needs) sports. In 2019 he presented the Microsoft Educational Programme for people with disabilities for the first time in the region. As a result, Riadh’s students have won more than 100 national and international sports prizes.

His school has also forged new links throughout the region that will help it integrate more SEN students, winning Best SEN Public Centre in Abu Dhabi for 2020-2021.

In 2020 Riadh won Best Teacher for all centres for people with disabilities in Abu Dhabi, and was additionally nominated for the Mohamed bin Zayed Award for Best Gulf Teacher. If he wins the Global Teacher Prize, Riadh says he will launch an association to support children with disabilities by using specially adapted smart learning, augmented and virtual reality tools.

The Global Teacher Prize was set up by the Varkey Founation to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

Congratulating Riadh Sunny Varkey, Founder, Varkey Foundation, said: “Their stories clearly highlight the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows.”

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