Ghassan Antoun

Orthodox National College, Tripoli, Lebanon

Ghassan  Antoun

Ghassan is an innovative and generous secondary Mathematics teacher who has been teaching for over 30 years. His motivation for teaching is a social one. Lebanon has a high level of unemployment amongst graduates, and limited income for those who do find jobs: as a result, less affluent children are losing the enthusiasm for educational attainment. Ghassan’s mission has been to try to help reverse this trend, and as a result he has made it his responsibility to modernise the learning of mathematics in Lebanon through targeted use of technology.

Beginning in the 1990s, Ghassan worked with the Lebanese Ministry of Education to launch new educational curricula, and in the following years he began to write education materials in the Geolab series – lessons in mathematics for grades seven and eight. He has since moved on to exploit technological innovation in these and similar materials, which allows him to go beyond textbook learning and cultivate a clearer mastery of mathematical concepts in students. With computer-based material, students are able to move geometric figures around on-screen, and this level of interactivity speeds and deepens learning. Currently, Ghassan also works in collaboration with Dar Al Amal – a Lebanese publishing house specialising in books related to Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry – on the issuing of free electronic books.

Most of Ghassan’s applications are free of charge to use and can be accessed from anywhere. They are therefore very useful for those who cannot afford private lessons. The results of his approach in his own school have been excellent: students in General Sciences have achieved a 100% pass rate and an average of 83.5% in mathematics. With Ghassan’s teaching methods, marks in geometry have risen by 34% overall.

In addition, Ghassan is highly regarded by his colleagues. This year, he received the Best Teacher in Lebanon award, organised by the Arab Network for Popular Education in co-operation with the Ministry of Education – along with the chance to represent Lebanon in the Global Teacher Prize 2019. If awarded the Global Teacher Prize, he would allocate the majority of the funds to complete his “e- school” project, which would include freely available lessons that cover the concepts in the mathematics curriculum for all grades; setting this up in collaboration with an outside coding company would take three to four years. He would also donate a portion of funds to his school for new seating, as well as to a restaurant in Tripoli which provides a daily free lunch or Iftar for all those in need, without any conditions, discrimination or humiliation.