Jamaica is on top again where education is concerned however, this time the celebration does not surround a student but an educator who was selected as the winner for the 2021 Global teacher prize by the Varkey Foundation.
The lucky teacher chosen was Keisha Thorpe, a native from the land of wood and water who was among 8000 educators from 121 countries in the world. She was selected after the total number of teachers was reduced to 50, and then 10. As a grand prize, Thorpe has won $1 million US dollars in the now well established Global competition that had its inception in 2015 and seeks to award outstanding individuals for their work where education is concerned.
The immaculate teacher, educates students in Grade 12 at the Langley Park International School, in George County, Maryland and is also a Philanthropist who helps students with food security, through her foundation called “Food for change”.
As a way forward, Thorpe who spoke to the Jamaica Gleaner about her win in the Global competition says that her grand prize cash will be used to better student lives, in schools not being properly funded and communities that need the help. As such the hardworking teacher said her win is a step forward to the dream of eradicating generational poverty. Thorpe also highlighted that the win means a lot since it is a platform that helps to uplift children especially now since the pandemic has taken foot and many students suffer worldwide from the same issues.
As such the enthusiastic educator expressed that she has hopes that the opportunity presented to her will allow her to work with other teachers worldwide, to help balance things out for students who are immigrants on the quest for education. Thorpe hopes to provide these types of students and their families with the relevant services that will help their needs.
Thorpe also sees the win as an opportunity to increase the advocacy of teachers for ways to improve education and gave her thanks to UNESCO for the platform, further stating the importance of a unity between teachers and stakeholders that will foster important growth in the education system.
As her support team, the excellent educator expressed her gratitude to the diaspora and her family members who stood beside her on the journey to her success.
According to Dr Karren Dunkley, the northeastern representative for the Jamaica Global Diaspora Council which Thorpe Co-chairs, she is very delighted about the win of her counterpart who she describes to be a person of brilliance and passion whose work ethic is filled with diligence that allows students the benefit of opportunities of access and equity.