Bill Gates announces UK teacher in global top 10

From BBC - February 13, 2018

A teacher from north London, named as a top-10 finalist in a global teaching award, has warned of the poor living conditions of her pupils.

Andria Zafirakou says some pupils at her Brent secondary school have to do their homework in the bathroom, because their housing is so overcrowded.

The nominations were announced by technology billionaire Bill Gates.

Education is the "master switch" for progress in society and individual lives, said Mr Gates.

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist revealed the top 10 teachers in the Global Teacher Prize organised by the Varkey Foundation, with the winner to receive $1m (720,000).

'Playing truant to cook'

These included Mrs Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher from Alperton Community School in north London.

She has been nominated for her work with deprived pupils, working with their families at home as well as in the classroom.

"By getting pupils to open up about their home lives, I discovered that many of my students come from crowded homes where multiple families share a single property," said Mrs Zafirakou.

"In fact it's often so crowded and noisy I have had students tell me they have to do their homework in the bathroom, just to grab a few moments alone so they can concentrate.

"I also found that some were being forced to play truant to cook meals in the allocated time slot they were permitted to use their shared home kitchen.

Raising status of teaching


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