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13/03/2017 - 07:00hs

Brazilian teacher a finalist for Dubai prize

Wemerson da Silva Nogueira is in a ten-strong shortlist for a global teachers’ award from the Varkey Foundation, sponsored by Dubai’s emir. He will attend the award ceremony on March 19th in the emirate.

São Paulo – A Brazilian from Espírito Santo state is one of ten finalists for the Global Teacher Prize. He is attending the award ceremony in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on March 19th. Wemerson da Silva Nogueira is up against competitors from Britain, Pakistan, Spain, Germany, Jamaica, Canada, Australia, China and Kenya. The winner will be announced during the ceremony.

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Espírito Santo native Nogueira is 26 years old

The prize is offered by the Varkey Foundation with sponsorship from UAE vice president and prime minister and Dubai’s emir, sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The goal is to acknowledge outstanding teachers whose work impacts the lives of students and the surrounding communities. The Foundation works to raise the bar in education to underprivileged children worldwide, and the winner will get USD 1 million in cash.

The trip to Dubai will be Nogueira’s first time abroad. “Just being among the ten finalists feels like winning to me.” He told ANBA he’d never thought his first international trip would be to a country he considers to be “one of the best in the world.” The teacher will spend about a week in Dubai, during which he will engage in several education-related activities.

All of the finalists will teach master classes at the Global Education & Skills Forum, which will take place on the 18th and 19th. In his class, on the 19th at 11 am, Nogueira will discuss his experiences and his innovative approach to teaching. The award ceremony will also happen during the forum.

The Brazilian teacher was chosen for his career history. Born to farmer parents in Nova Venécia, Espírito Santo, Nogueira graduated in Science and Chemistry in 2012 in a distance learning course from Universidade Metropolitana de Santos (Unimes).

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The teacher takes an innovative approach

Now aged 26, he started his career by teaching Science classes in municipal public schools in Nova Venécia, and then he switched to Chemistry. Later on, he taught Chemistry and Science at primary and high schools in Boa Esperança, also in Espírito Santo. This year he began teaching at Faculdade Multivix, a college in state capital Vitória. He teaches Chemistry to Engineering and Environmental Education students in Pedagogy school.

The desire to incorporate innovations to his teaching came in 2012 when he started teaching classes and faced a tough situation in his school with uninterested students in a scenario of drugs and criminality. “I sensed the need to do something to improve their lives,” he says about his students. One of the initiatives created by him was a program in which the students themselves promoted within the community and at home the fight against drugs and crime.

In addition to initiatives like this, Wemerson da Silva Nogueira is also used take his students outside the classroom and many times has taught while he and his students took a walk through the community of were seated under a tree. In Nova Venécia, while teaching about water, for instance, he took his students to the local water treatment plant. “They didn’t know about how the dirty water from the river arrived clean to their houses,” says the professor.

The teacher from Espírito Santo has now won more than ten other awards for his job as a teacher. Nogueira praised the initiative of the Global Teacher Prize and the support by sheikh Maktoum. “It’s a fantastic job of valuing teachers and should be seen as a model for all countries,” said the Brazilian about the work of the Varkey Foundation.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum and Sérgio Kakitani

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