Filipino public school teachers, student receive global recognition citation

Published October 5, 2021, 2:06 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday, Oct. 5, recognized the outstanding achievements of two public school teachers and a student journalist after making it to the Top 50 of Global Teacher and Student Prize 2021.

Photo from DepEd

“Our teachers and learners are really our treasure for their innovations and passion, even amidst the pandemic,” Education Secretary Briones said.

“These recognition for them inspire us at DepEd to continuously support their careers and dreams,” she added.

Shortlisted from over 8,000 nominations around the world, Bryant Acar from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu and Michelle Rubio from Sorsogon City earned a place in the Top 50 of the Global Teacher Prize.

Acar of Science and Technology Education Center – Senior High School (STEC-SHS), not only helped his students thread the difficulties of online learning during the pandemic but also provided opportunities for his students to be scientists.

“The essence of a teacher is to guide, motivate, inspire and transform students so they can be a better version of themselves,” Acar said.

Traveling for 16 kilometers a day just to attend his class, Acar built a make-shift laboratory in his school and trained students who became winners of different national and international science competitions.

“We are in dire need to produce students who are not only competent but persons with character,” Acar explained. “Teaching creates a gold mine of other professions in the world and this is a gargantuan task we must strive to achieve,” he added.

Rubio of Calao Elementary School, on the other hand, created a “Techno-classhome.”

She also turned her car into a “Reading Car” where she would take reading lessons and broadcast them on Facebook.

Rubio also pioneered “Resort for Learning” where a part of the school is decorated with beach decorations and a mini library with an internet connection to support distance learning.

“To all the teachers out there continue innovating and doing extraordinary things that would help our learners cope with this pandemic. Never be discouraged,” Rubio said.

She also urged her fellow teachers to “look at the positive side of every situation” and use these as stepping stones to continue doing their mission as educators. “Our learners need us to give hope for their future,” she added.

The Global Teacher Prize is a prestigious awards body that aims to recognize the efforts of teachers and their impacts not only inside the classroom but also in their communities.

Apart from the recognition, the winner of the Global Teacher Prize will also receive $1 million in prize.

In the Global Student Prize category, Ancelmo Catalla, a Senior High School student in Quezon Science High School, also joined the Top 50 finalists out of 3,500 nominations across 94 countries.

A wide reader as a child, Ancelmo is currently the editor-in-chief of his school’s official student paper, The Velocity, and a budding social entrepreneur.

“Honestly, it is very taxing to keep being excellent amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. But as a scholar of the people, I have to serve – and part of my service is to keep learning so that the taxes that the people pay do not go to waste,” he said.

Catalla plans to dedicate his possible $100,000 winning to building mini-libraries for remote public schools. “What keeps me going is knowing the fact that I have to study not just for me and my family, but also for the community,” he added.

The selection committee or the “Prize Judges” will select 10 finalists out of the 50 this month.

From there, one winner per category will be chosen.

DepEd said that the announcement and awarding of the winners will be next month.