Samuel Isaiah just announced as our eighth Top 10 Finalist! 

Stephen Fry has just announced Samuel Isaiah from Malaysia, as the eighth Top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020! After completing his bachelor's degree in 2011, Samuel hoped to serve in an elite urban school with the best facilities and environment – somewhere he could implement his educational ideas and start a great career. However, he was deployed to a rural primary school for indigenous children, where, on his first day, another teacher told him: “Samuel, you don’t have to do much, they’re just Orang Asli [indigenous children]”. This was an attitude that Samuel would spend years fighting against. 

Meet our Top 50 Finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2020! 

Over the last few months, in a world turned upside down, we’ve been daily reminded how much we rely on the world's teachers. Now, more than ever, we must shine a light on their profession.

As global education systems adapt to a new and unfamiliar terrain, the one voice that should never be drowned out is that of the teacher. As schools have been forced to shut their gates, parents and students know their true value – and the lessons they teach us all far beyond the classroom.

We are honoured to announce the Top 50 outstanding Finalists for the 2020 Global Teacher Prize. Supporting teachers as they continue to inspire, even as the world shifts under their feet, isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the wellspring of our future. Please join us in congratulating them and acknowledging the amazing work they do!

Click here to meet our Top 50 finalists

The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1million award, presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Varkey Foundation established the prize in 2014, to recognise and celebrate the impact that teachers have around the world – not only on their students, but on the communities around them.

Applications and Nominations for the 2021 Prize will open online in January 2021.

About the Varkey Foundation

Every child, everywhere, deserves a good teacher.

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Peter Tabichi 2019

The 2019 Global Teacher Prize winner.


Andria Zafirakou 2018

The 2018 Global Teacher Prize winner.

Find out more