Pope Francis announces Global Teacher prize

Pope Francis announced through a video message on Sunday, March 13, the winner of the Global Teacher Prize, a US$1 million award presented by the Varkey Foundation.

“I would like to congratulate the teacher Hanan al-Hroub for winning this prestigious prize due to the importance that she gave to the ‘playing’ part in the education of the children,” said Pope Francis.

“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 through games, and you learn the joy of life,” he said.

“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.”

Hanan al-Hroub, who works with children who have grown up exposed to violence, received the award at a star-studded ceremony in Dubai.

“I am proud to be a Palestinian female teacher standing on this stage. I accept this as a win for all teachers in general and Palestinian teachers in particular,” said Al-Hroub in her acceptance speech.

“Each day, the role of the teacher is reinforced and its importance confirmed as the world questions what future we want for our children,” she said.

Al-Hroub later told the Associated Press it was “amazing” to hear Pope Francis say her name.

Al-Hroub grew up in the Bethlehem refugee camp, and was regularly exposed to violence. She went into primary education after her own children were left traumatized from witnessing a shooting on their way home from school.


Vatican Radio
ABC News
The Guardian
Image: AP/Vatican Radio

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