The Jakarta Post
Aris Kukuh Prasetyo, an elementary school teacher from Semarang, Central Java, is among the 50 finalists of the Global Teacher Prize, an annual US$1 million prize founded by the Varkey Foundation in London. (Courtesy of/the Varkey Foundation/-)
Aris Kukuh Prasetyo, a teacher at SDN Delik 02 state elementary school in Semarang, Central Java, has been shortlisted among the top 50 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2020.
Aris was selected from over 12,000 nominees and applicants from more than 140 countries around the world.
The Varkey Foundation in London set up the annual award in 2014 to recognize "an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession", as well as to "celebrate the impact that teachers have around the world – not only on their students, but on the communities around them".
In partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the US$1 million prize, now in its sixth year, is the largest of its kind.
Stefania Giannini, the UNESCO assistant director-general for education, said that every child in the world deserved an inspiring teacher, and that inspiring teachers deserved wide recognition in society.
“Now, more than ever, in a world of competing priorities, governments throughout the world must invest in teachers to meet their commitments to deliver universal quality education by 2030,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
The Global Teacher Prize's "Meet our Top 50 Finalists" webpage introduces Aris as "born into a family" of teachers, and that he started his career at "a remote elementary school in Penawangan village, where the majority of the people were farmers". It also notes the poor state of the road infrastructure, and that "the drop-out rate was high as children had to help their parents work".
Aris reportedly made immediate efforts to try and get the children to stay in school "through a home-visit program", and that he succeeded with a 60 percent re-enrollment rate.
Aris’ school is located near the polluted Rawa Pening swamp, so his efforts included raising environmental awareness among his students and involving them in creative recycling efforts and building "a hydraulic robot to clean the polluted swamp".
Some of his students have gone on to "become agents of change" by developing an eco-tourism community for preserving the area's natural environment, according to the website, and Aris' efforts also extended to encouraging his fellow teachers to complete their education degrees.
The SDN Delik 02 and the local community also joined hands to stage an Independence Day parade to campaign on the importance of preserving the environment.
He continued his efforts to help students, teachers, schools and the community at large, including his use of stop-motion animation starting in 2015 to demonstrate theories, as his students loved Shaun the Sheep, the statement said. The files were then shared for students to watch them at home with their families as a way of encouraging "parent buy-in" to recognize the value of education and to become more involved in their children's schooling.
Aris’ other innovative methods to increase student engagement include creating comic books as learning materials, covering a wide range of topics such as nationalism, honesty, Indonesian cultures, mathematics, ocean creatures and pollution.
He also started an interscholastic writing workshop for his district, and obtained funding from the Education Ministry in 2017 to start the “Kutilang” teachers working group. The group promotes collaborative teaching through exchange programs and knowledge-sharing among teachers.
According to his profile, if he wins, Aris plans to use the prize money to establish an online learning start-up and begin setting up special-needs schools in "every regency in Indonesia".
The top 50 finalists represent 37 countries, and in highlighting their stories, the Varkey Foundation hopes that the global public will be able to join in on passionate debates about the importance of teachers.
Varkey Foundation and Global Teacher Prize founder Sunny Varkey said in a statement that the prize would "start this new decade with renewed purpose and energy, moving the prize ceremony around the world, spreading the message deeper into new host countries and making the prize’s reputation live up to its name as a global celebration of teachers".
“As the home of the Varkey Foundation and a great global city, we’re proud to announce that London is the first of our new host cities,” he said.
“We’re also proud to partner with UNESCO, as we all must now work together to do whatever it takes to give every child their birthright -- a great education. Our generation will not be forgiven if we continue to deny the lifeblood of education to those in the next.”
The top 50 finalists will be narrowed down to 10 by a committee for an announcement in June. The winner will be chosen from these 10 candidates by the Global Teacher Prize Academy, with all 10 to be invited to the award ceremony, slated for for October at the Natural History Museum in London. (asp)
Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)close x