1 million USD awaits Filipino science teacher if he wins 2021 Global Teacher Prize

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday, Oct. 22, announced that a science teacher from Cebu is among this year’s finalists of the prestigious Global Teacher Prize (GTP).

Filipino science teacher Bryant Acar (Photo from DepEd)

Bryant Acar from Science and Technology Education Center - Senior High School (STEC-SHS) in Basak, Lapu-Lapu City has made it to the Top 10 of the 2021 GTP.

He was nominated by his students and colleagues for the international award due to his various contributions to his school and region.

Acar joined nine other finalists from other countries vying for the 1 million USD award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

“Being in the Top 10 is something I did not expect,” Acar said.

“There are so many teachers with high qualifications and great accomplishments, so many of us are clueless as to who will make it to the list,” he added.

Love for science, teaching

Before landing a job at STEC-SHS, Acar used to hold a comfortable teaching post in a university.

However, he felt that there is so much more he can do as an educator. In search of a greater purpose, he decided to transfer to the small school without a science laboratory in 2016.

With his perseverance and love for science, he has trained his students, used his connections to universities to link his school to laboratories that they can use to practice, and developed teaching modules, textbooks, worksheets, and learning resources replicated by 10 neighboring SHS.

DepEd said that Acar’s students are now national and international winners of various science competitions.

“I draw inspiration from the students and the value of resilience,” Acar said.

While the pandemic has posed challenges in the education sector, Acar continued to find ways to ensure that teaching and learning will continue. “I should never give up because of this pandemic,” he said. “This did not cripple me from giving my best in teaching,” he added.

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country, face-to-face classes are still prohibited.

Given this, DepEd continued to implement distance learning this school year (SY) 2021-2021 where students learn their lessons at home through multiple learning delivery modalities such as printed and offline modular, online and television or radio-based instruction.

“The platform may have changed to online but a motivated teacher will always find a way to rise to the occasion,” Acar said.

What to do with the prize

If he wins the award, Acar is eyeing to build GTP Learning Hub in his school, equipped with an audio-video system and internet cables with tablets where students and teachers can do research, training, and conference.

He is also planning to have a school bus for the students of STEC-SHS for competitions and outreach programs purposes.

Acar also plans to travel to different schools around the globe to learn their best practices, as well as, share his knowledge with them through forums.

Moreover, Acar said that he will also continue his passion project on mentoring student researchers.

Currently, Acar is leading research teams to come up with projects that will have community and global impacts. He has a few projects to submit for patenting and he will continue training teachers in his division for Action Research.

Since qualifying for the GTP, Acar has expanded his network, making friends and connections with other GTP ambassadors across the globe.

The awarding ceremony for the 2021 GTP will be held virtually on Nov. 10.

(Photo from DepEd)

Meanwhile, DepEd Education Secretary congratulated Acar for being included in finalists for 2021 GTP.

Briones said his passion is “another inspiring story we want to cultivate” in the Department.

“We will always be rooting for the likes of Teacher Bryant, as we are dedicated to further develop their skills and talents in the teaching profession,” she added.