Turkish teachers win global teacher awards

Published 19.09.2019 00:07
Nurten Akkuş with her students at the school in the province of Samsun, Sept. 18, 2019.
Nurten Akkuş with her students at the school in the province of Samsun, Sept. 18, 2019.

Eight Turkish teachers were awarded "global teacher" awards by AKS Education, an India-based education research company.

Nurten Akkuş, a kindergarten principal in the Black Sea province of Samsun was among those who received awards at a ceremony in New Delhi recently.

With her projects in her kindergarten, Akkuş earned the AKS education award after she was picked from among 12,000 teachers who had participated in 73 countries.

She started the "Tell me a story, father" project 10 years ago to encourage male role models in homes to be more active in education. The project was implemented in 45 provinces in Turkey. Akkuş also came up with the "toy piggy bank" project to meet children's needs for toys in rural schools in 43 provinces.

The teacher told Anadolu Agency (AA) that she was very happy and proud of the award.

Last year, Akkuş was named one of the top 10 teachers in the world by the British Varkey Foundation.

Akkuş has been invited to Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic to share her experiences with teachers.

AKS education awards are given to "outstanding educators for the eminence and effectiveness of their teaching, their specialized leadership, their engagement with the community," according to their website.

Elem Göktaş, a kindergarten teacher from Sakarya in northwestern Turkey, was another recipient of the award. A teacher for 15 years, she was recognized for her projects like "I Have Book in My Bag" she developed with her colleague Emine Coşkuntürk, to improve students' vocabulary, encourage parents' participation in their education to learn Turkish better and use it with more proficiency and delivering books to children in disadvantaged communities. She was also part of an international project called "Little Schools Outdoor" that highlighted the importance of hosting classes outside school.

Both are award-winning projects, along with "Read and Tell and Have Values," which change storytelling practices with drama classes and similar active learning practices. She is also working on projects to improve ties between parents and teachers. Speaking to AA, she said she strives to offer her students project-based education. "This is more efficient and easier for them to achieve their education goals. Besides, it is fun," she said. Göktaş said she launched a new project this year she called "End Cut-Copy Paste and Start Preschool Innovation" to help children navigate technology and for a safer Internet experience.

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