London: Indian actor and life skills teacher Swaroop Rawal was Thursday named among the top 10 finalists in the USD one million ‘Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize’ for her use of unique teaching methods to reach out to children across different segments of society in India.
Rawal, who teaches at Lavad Primary School in Gujarat, was shortlisted from around 10,000 nominations and applications across 179 countries for the annual prize, to be announced March 24 at the ‘Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF)’ in Dubai.
“This solidifies that some very special people are oticing and celebrating the work done by teachers,” Rawal said, in response to the announcement.
“Given the scale of the education challenge world over, I strongly believe every effort made in education should be celebrated and thus I congratulate my fellow teachers; those have made to the list and also those who haven’t,” Rawal added.
Rawal, a former Miss India and the wife of actor Paresh Rawal, stated she went into teaching to accomplish two goals – to help make children more resilient through life skills education and to bring new methods to teaching.
“I want my children to be equipped with life skills that not only make them resilient but emotionally empowered. I want life skills education in all schools, for all children, from all age groups,” pointed out Rawal.
According to the ‘Global Teacher Prize’, her teaching has reached children on the streets, in rural communities, economically and socially- disadvantaged children, as well as elite schoolchildren.
In order to reach out to them, Rawal uses drama in education – an active, learner-centred method which includes group discussion, brainstorming, debate, games, song, and drawing.
Her approach has had an impact on the lives of those she has taught, preventing child marriage in Bhadbhediya and child labour in Sodvadra’s diamond polishing industry by facilitating children’s return to school.
Rawal has also contributed to the understanding of teaching in India, becoming a teacher-trainer and training over 10,000 teachers.
“I hope her story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over India and throughout the world every day,” said Sunny Varkey, the Indian-origin entrepreneur founder of the UK-based ‘Varkey Foundation’.