Chi­nese teach­ers short­listed for in­ter­na­tional award

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By BO LE­UNG in Lon­don boleung@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

Two Chi­nese teach­ers have, for the first time, been named on the top-50 short­list for the an­nual Varkey Foun­da­tion Global Teacher Prize, a pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional award.

Ron­nie Cheng, head­mas­ter of the Dioce­san Boys’ School in Hong Kong, and Yang Boya, a psy­chol­ogy teacher at The Af­fil­i­ated Mid­dle School of Kun­ming Teach­ers Col­lege in Yun­nan prov­ince, were picked from more than 20,000 nom­i­na­tions and ap­pli­ca­tions from 179 coun­tries by the Lon­don­based foun­da­tion.

Now in its third year, the Global Teacher Prize was cre­ated to rec­og­nize ex­cep­tional teach­ers who make out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the pro­fes­sion.

The win­ner will re­ceive $1 mil­lion.

Yang, 28, said she was sur­prised by her nom­i­na­tion.

“It was so sur­real be­cause of my age. I thought I was too young to be in the cat­e­gory, so I kept reread­ing the email say­ing I’ve been se­lected.”

She added: “The freedom of teach­ing and the cre­ativ­ity in ex­chang­ing ideas with my stu­dents is why I got into this job. I also come from a fam­ily of teach­ers, as both my par­ents are in the pro­fes­sion.”

“As a psy­chol­o­gist as well as a teacher, I sup­port and coun­sel some stu­dents who need some­one to talk to,” Yang said. “Af­ter­ward, some tell me they feel much bet­ter for talk­ing to some­one or tell me that I am a huge sup­port for them.”

Ron­nie Cheng cre­ated an award-win­ning, world No 1-ranked male choir. Many of his stu­dents have gone on to be­come pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians.

Cheng also set up the Dioce­san Boys’ School Foun­da­tion to sup­port un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents with fi­nan­cial or med­i­cal dif­fi­cul­ties.

The top 50 short­listed teach­ers will be re­duced to 10 can­di­dates by a prize com­mit­tee that will be an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary, with a win­ner cho­sen in March.

Ron­nie Cheng

Yang Boya

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