Two Indian teachers have been named among the 50 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize this year
Two Indian teachers have been named among the 50 finalists for this year’s Global Teacher Prize, a $1 million prize established to “recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession while also shining a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.” Satyam Mishra, a mathematics teacher from Bhagalpur, Bihar, and Meghana Musunuri, a social studies, English, and math teacher from Hyderabad, have made the list.
Satyam, 31, attended Mount Assisi School in Bhagalpur and graduated from Manipal Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 2014. In 2015, he completed a Teach for India (TFI) fellowship in Pune, where he gained extensive experience in the social sector. He claims that teaching is second nature to him. “Because my grandma was illiterate, she struggled to understand text or numbers. She frequently requested my assistance in reading invitation cards or bills. I began by teaching her everything I had studied in school. Satyam said, “With time, she was able to read and write.”
Satyam changed a school in Pune’s Ganjpeth during his TFI adventure. He also did an internship at IIM Ahmedabad, where he learned about various teaching styles. Satyam presented his insightful research report based on his TFI journey to Malala Yousafzai’s school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon with the goal of influencing change in warzones. “Education should not be halted in a conflict zone. I identified with Malala’s motto, which enabled me to put my skills to good use. Satyam states, “Until today, I have taught my students for free.”
He feels that a teacher’s work entails more than merely instructing. Aawez Sheikh, one of his TFI students, used to deliver newspapers to support his family and was notorious for being late. “I deliver newspapers to his house so he can get to school on time. One of the student’s fathers used to serve fast food and suddenly became ill. To make a living, he put up a stall in front of his father’s house. I’ve sold fast food in order for my students to be able to attend class. “A teacher must not only educate, but also offer solutions for students to be able to attend classes,” Satyam, who is also a Teach for All Global Education Fellowship recipient, explained.
Satyam was named Teach for All’s network coordinator in April 2020, and he has virtually trained over 100 instructors in Nigeria. He is currently employed by Teach for Armenia as a curriculum developer, Teach for Slovakia as a STEM coach, and Mount Assisi School in Bihar as a teacher. Meghana Musunuri, the other instructor on the list, is a Telangana native who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer technology in 1999. After getting married in 2000, she relocated to London. But she felt compelled to study more about teaching, so she enrolled in a specialised course in child psychology at Mark Education in the United Kingdom.