The Global Teacher Prize 2020 was awarded to Indian Ranjit Desali for his dedication to educating girls, mostly from impoverished communities, at a village school in western India.
Immediately, Desali announced that he would share the $ 1 million prize money with the other nine finalists.
Prize organizers said he was Desali awarding the award for his contribution to “changing life chances” for girls from Zila Parishad Elementary School in Paritiwadi, Maharashtra state.
The award was announced by actor and writer Stephen Fry during a virtual ceremony broadcast from the Natural History Museum in London. Desali heard the announcement of the award from his home in India, surrounded by his family.
Teacher Desali began his career in 2009 at the school, which was built in a demolished building next to a cattle shed. Attendance to schools in this area was low, along with the widespread phenomenon of teenage marriage.
The curriculum was not available in the “Kenada” language spoken by the girls. So Desali went to the village, learned the language and translated textbooks for the girls to understand.
He also provided digital education tools and designed a special program for each student, and his smart system is currently being used across India.
Organizers say that the attendance rate for female students has now reached 100 percent and one of the village girls has graduated from university.