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Palestinian teacher shortlisted for $1 million Global Teacher Prize

Dec. 14, 2016 7:15 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2016 7:15 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Palestinian teacher Abeer Qunaibi from Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank was named on the top 50 shortlist for the 2017 Global Teacher Prize organized by the Varkey Foundation, it was announced Wednesday.

A Palestinian teacher, Hanan al-Hroub, won the prize in 2016.

Qunaibi, a teacher at Hebron’s Wedad Naser al-Deen Secondary School, stands to win a $1 million prize that, according to the Varkey Foundation is the largest of its kind.

The 2017 Global Teacher Prize is in its third year. According to its website, the prize was ”set up to recognize 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.” 

The final ten candidates will be  announced in Feb. 2017 and the winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in the emirate of Dubai on March 19, 2017. 

A press release from the foundation noted that despite the fact that Qunaibi “married young” she “nevertheless continued in education,” going on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, and pursued her goal to become a school teacher with a focus on devising new pedagogies to cope with technological advancements. 

Qunaibi has also pursued postgraduate study. Among her other achievements are being the first representative of Palestine to win a prize in the 2012 Intel-ISEF exhibition in the US; holding Skype meetings with various students from schools across Palestine, the US, and Saudi Arabia; and winning the Silver Medal for innovation and creativity awarded by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2012.

The top 50 list for the award -- representing 37 countries -- were selected from more than 20,000 nominees hailing from 179 countries around the world.
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