Iranian Kurdish teacher nominated for global teacher prize

An Iranian Kurdish teacher has been nominated to receive the Global Teacher Prize awarded by the Varkey Foundation, an institution which works in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Varkey Foundation was founded to recognize exceptional teachers and improve the standards of education for underprivileged children.

Soraya Motaharnia, an instructor from the western Iranian Kurdistan Province, has found herself among the top 10 nominees for the prestigious prize.

“During 26 years of service, I spent each year in a remote, sparsely populated village in Kurdistan, so that no elementary school student would be deprived of education because of financial problems,” she says.

“During my years of service, I managed to identify thousands of sick schoolchildren in deprived towns and make difficult and costly treatment easier for them by contacting benefactors and charities,” she explains.

Even during summer when schools were closed, she would go to villages and, in addition to teaching, followed up on the treatment and physical recovery of students as well.

She holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations, and taught in underprivileged villages in Kurdistan for 26 years.

The Global Teacher Prize is worth $1 million. The Varkey Foundation picks the nominees after making expert reviews on teachers’ performance. The 10 candidates will then step up to the semifinals.

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