The COVID-19 pandemic may have taken a toll on the teaching-learning process but the Science teacher from Lapu-lapu City, Cebu has proven that it’s the teacher that makes a difference and not the classroom. Among the 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world, Bryant Acar was shortlisted and became one of the 10 finalists for the prestigious 2021 Global Teacher Prize.

Now in its seventh year, the Global Teacher Prize is the largest award-giving body of its kind. By unearthing thousands of stories of these unsung heroes, it recognizes one exceptional teacher who made an outstanding contribution to the profession and has played an important role in society. The winner will bring home $1M – which the organization hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers from all over the world.

Acar left his teaching post in the university in 2016 and transferred to Science and Technology Education Center Senior High School to teach “deserving students from poor backgrounds”. Despite the lack of facilities, he managed to link with universities so his students can perform experiments.

In order to address the needs of his students, Acar also developed his learning modules, textbooks, worksheets, and instructional materials – which were then replicated by ten neighboring science schools. With his support and guidance, his students have won numerous competitions in the local and international scene.

In 2018, the Science teacher also ranked second in the Best Science Teacher in Southeast Asia at the SEAMEO QITEP in Bali, Indonesia. He was also recognized at the INCEED and SPACE International held in Thailand in February 2020 as an Outstanding Educator. In addition to these, he has a few projects that are to be submitted for patenting while he continues to train teachers in his division for Action Research.

Acar shared that he draws inspiration from his students and their 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.”

Should Acar win the award, he plans to use the prize in building a Global Teacher Prize Learning Hub in his school – that is equipped with an audio-video system and internet cables with tablets – so that both teachers and students can conduct research, training, and conferences. He also wants to procure a bus that the school can use for competitions and outreach programs. And to further widen his horizons, he also believes that the prize will permit him to travel to different schools around the globe to benchmark their best practices.

The winner of the 2021 Global Teacher Prize will be virtually announced on November 10, 2021.

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