Pope Francis announces Global Teacher Prize

2016-03-14 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday evening announced through a video-message the winner of the Global Teacher Prize, a $1 million award presented by the Varkey Foundation.

The Pope’s announcement had been previously recorded in the Vatican, and was played at the awards ceremony in Dubai.

Listen to our report:

"I would like to congratulate the teacher Hanan Al Hroub for winning this prestigious prize due to the importance she gives to the role of play in a child’s education,” Pope Francis said.

The winner of the prize is a primary school teacher in the West Bank city of al-Bireh just outside Ramallah. She grew up in a refugee camp, and now teaches refugees.

“A child has the right to play,” – Pope Francis said –  “Part of education is to teach children how to play, because you learn how to be social though games, and you learn the joy of life.”

Al-Hroub later told the Associated Press it was “amazing” to hear the Pope say her name, and said she would use the million-dollar prize money to create scholarships for students who excel in order to encourage them to choose careers in teaching.

During her acceptance speech, Al-Hroub reiterated her commitment to non-violence and dialogue, a theme also touched on in Pope Francis’ video-message.

“A population that is not well educated because of wars, or by other reasons that exist in order not to get any education, is a population that decays,” said Pope Francis. “That is why I would like to highlight the noble profession of a teacher.”

(from Vatican Radio)