Applications and Nominations Are Now Open for the Global Teacher Prize

The Global Teacher Prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognized and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impact of the very best teachers—not only on their students but on the communities around them. Join the Global Teacher Community to network with other teachers, meet previous prize winners and finalists, and access teaching resources and events.

Candidates for the Global Teacher Prize will be judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.


The Prize is open to currently working teachers who teach children that are in compulsory schooling, or are between the ages of five and 18. Teachers who teach children age 4+ in an Early Years government-recognized curriculum are also eligible, as are teachers who teach on a part-time basis, and teachers of online courses. Teachers must spend at least 10 hours per week teaching children face-to-face, and plan to remain in the teaching profession for the next five years. The Prize is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world. 


Applicants for the Global Teacher Prize will be judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an extraordinary teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Academy will look for evidence of a combination of:

  1. Employing effective instructional practices that are replicable and scalable to influence the quality of education globally.
  2. Employing innovative instructional practices that address the particular challenges of the school, community or country and which have shown sufficient evidence to suggest they could be effective in addressing such challenges in a new way.
  3. Achieving demonstrable student learning outcomes in the classroom.
  4. Impact in the community beyond the classroom that provide unique and distinguished models of excellence for the teaching profession and others.
  5. Helping children become global citizens through providing them with a values-based education that equips them for a world where they will potentially live, work, and socialize with people from many different nationalities, cultures, and religions.
  6. Improving the teaching profession through helping to raise the bar of teaching, sharing best practice, and helping colleagues overcome any challenges they face in their school.
  7. Teacher recognition from governments, national teaching organizations, head-teachers, colleagues, members of the wider community, or pupils.

The 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. Meet the Academy.

The Varkey Foundation is delighted to be organising the 2024 Global Teacher Prize in collaboration with UNESCO and in strategic partnership with Dubai Cares.

Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 21 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.

Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. Moreover, Dubai Cares adopts a strategic approach to improve student enrolment and learning outcomes through an integrated school health and nutrition model that is made up of school-based deworming activities, school feeding, and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in schools. 

Dubai Cares is a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), as well as a registered non-government organization under IACAD, the charitable activities regulator in Dubai. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization is authorized to raise funds through direct donations and fundraising campaigns, as well as process all permit approvals with IACAD. Volunteerism is a powerful tool to Dubai Cares in order to engage people in tackling development challenges. Dubai Cares rallies the UAE wider community through a large spectrum of volunteering and awareness initiatives that are linked to its global mandate. To learn more, please visit

UNESCOis the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO promotes knowledge sharing and the free flow of ideas to accelerate mutual understanding and a more perfect knowledge of each other’s lives. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

Teachers who are well-trained, supported and valued are essential to ensuring quality education for all and meeting the education targets of the 2030 Agenda. For that reason, they are a top priority for UNESCO. Yet worldwide there is a deficit of 69 million teachers and many of those who are at work, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, lack basic qualifications and training to keep pace with changes in education. UNESCO works with countries to increase the supply of qualified, motivated teachers by improving policies relating to them and supporting quality training which meets learners’ needs. To learn more, please visit

Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, said:“UNESCO is a proud partner of the Global Teacher Prize, because teachers, as the guardians of our future, deserve great recognition for their inspiring efforts.

“In the face of intricate challenges like accelerating climate change, rising radical ideologies, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, teachers are indispensable in preparing children and youth to navigate a rapidly evolving world.”

Stefania Giannini
Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education

Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said:”Teachers are the driving force behind progress, as they are the ones who inspire and shape the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. Beyond imparting knowledge, teachers are also coaches, mentors, and facilitators who empower their students to achieve their full potential. Through their guidance and support, teachers also instil in students the values, skills, knowledge and experiences that are instrumental in building a prosperous and sustainable future for all. We value our long-standing partnership with the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, which celebrates the tireless efforts and incredible accomplishments of teachers around the world and their role in driving human development.”

Dr. Tariq Al Gurg
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares
Finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2023 

The 2023 Global Teacher Prize Winnerwas Pakistani teacher Sister Zeph, who founded her own school for underprivileged children in the courtyard of her home at just age 13.

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