Thejane Malakane has made it to Global Teacher Prize 2019 Top 50 finalists

By Nvulane Nhlapo (@NvulaneNhlapo)

Image Credit: Varkey Foundation

The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

The Global Teacher Prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them.

Thejane Malakane is a fourth grade teacher at Toloane Primary School located in Maseru. He began teaching in 2005 as an unqualified substitute teacher, contracted to teach for two years replacing someone on study leave.

Thejane has been employing innovative instructional practices that address challenges of the school and community and has shown sufficient evidence to suggest they could be effective in addressing such challenges.

He began using his phone to record lessons for students that are absent, and then play them the next day when they return. Eventually, both absent and present students began to play the lessons repeatedly to get more understanding.

He downloads educational videos that reinforce what the students learn in class, then shares them to their borrowed mobile phones so that they can watch at home.

In 2017, Thejane was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow and given a rare chance to study a Civic Leadership course at Arizona State University in the US.

If awarded the Global Teacher Prize, he will launch his own educational trust that focuses on financing tertiary education of underprivileged students. He will also be able to install electricity and Internet connectivity in his school – a long-held wish.

The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Every year since then, the Global Teacher Prize has been going from strength to strength with the 2018 Prize bringing in over 30,000 applications and nominations.

The 2019 winner will be chosen by the prominent Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of head-teachers, educational experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists from around the world.

Read more about Thejane’s work here!