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Teacher of the Year: I'm Splitting My $1M Prize

Ranjitsinh Disale recognized for promoting girls' education in India
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2020 2:30 PM CST

(Newser) – An "exceptional" teacher in India is making an exceptional move: Ranjitsinh Disale, winner of the 2020 Global Teacher Prize, says he will give half of the $1 million prize to the runners-up for the award, CNN reports. That amounts to $55,000 for each of the other nine finalists. "I believe that if I share this prize money with nine teachers it means I can scale up their work," Disale said in an interview posted by the New Indian Express. "Their incredible work is still worthy," he said. "If I share the prize money with the rest of the teachers they will get a chance to continue their work, and we can reach out and lighten the lives of as many students as we can."

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More than 12,000 teachers in some 140 countries were considered for the Global Teacher Prize this year, per the New Indian Express. Disale, a 32-year-old primary school teacher in the village of Paritewadi, was selected based on his push to promote education among girls, according to reports. He has translated textbooks into his students' tribal language and created QR codes on the books to provide better access to learning materials. Among those praising Disale's generosity is the Dali Lama, who tweeted that Disale "has set an example of compassion in action." Among the award finalists who will benefit from Disale's largesse are teachers in Brazil, Britain, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, and the US, per CNN. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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