MANILA— A science teacher in Cebu is in the running for the world's best teacher award and its $1 million (P50 million) prize.
Bryant Acar from the Science and Technology Education Center Senior High School in Basak, Lapu-Lapu City was shortlisted for the prestigious 2021 Global Teacher Prize.
He is among 10 finalists selected from over 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world.
"Being in the Top 10 is something I did not expect. There are so many teachers with high qualifications and great accomplishments, so many of us are clueless as to who will make it to the list," Acar said in a statement released Friday.
According to its website, the Global Teacher Prize is presented annually by London-based Varkey Foundation "to an exceptional teacher who was made an outstanding contribution to their profession."
In 2016, Acar quit a comfortable university teaching post and transferred to STEC-SHS to teach "deserving students from poor backgrounds," the foundation said.
Though the school has no science laboratory, he linked up with universities so he could use their facilities for his students to perform experiments.
Acar also created his own teaching modules, textbooks, worksheets and learning resources, which were replicated by 10 neighboring senior high schools.
His students have won various science competitions locallyl and abroad.
"I draw inspiration from the students and the value of resilience. I should never give up because of this pandemic. This did not cripple me from giving my best in teaching. The platform may have changed to online but a motivated teacher will always find a way to rise to the occasion," Acar said.
Should he win the award, Acar said he wants to build a Global Teacher Prize Learning Hub in STEC-SHS where students and teachers can conduct research, training and conferences.
Acar is also planning to procure a school bus for competitions and outreach programs.
Winning the prize may also allow him to travel to different schools around the globe to learn their best practices.
In 2018, Acar was named second best science teacher in Southeast Asia at the SEAMEO QITEP in Bali, Indonesia.
He was also recognized as an outstanding educator at the INCEED and SPACE International held in Thailand in February 2020.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones hailed Acar's recent nomination as "another inspiring story we want to cultivate in the department."
"We will always be rooting for the likes of Teacher Bryant, as we are dedicated to further develop their skills and talents in the teaching profession," she said.
The awarding ceremony for the 2021 Global Teacher Prize will be held virtually on Nov. 10, 2021.