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Andria Zafirakou from north London wins $1m 'world's best teacher' prize

19 March 2018

A British woman named Andria Zafirakou has won prize money of Rs.6.5 Crore approximately after being adjudged as the World's Best Teacher. They come from a wide range of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds and Ms Zafirakou learnt how to deliver basic greetings in Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Portuguese and many other languages out of the 35 spoken by pupils and parents at the school.

Andria Zafirakou, 39, beat out some 30,000 applicants from around the planet to win the Global Teacher Prize. "So, thank you for all you have done and continue to do".

She added: "It is also a community where many of our students unfortunately live in challenging circumstances".

"What is wonderful is, whatever issues they are having at home, whatever is missing from their life or causing them pain, our school is theirs".

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Ms Zafirakou will receive one million United States dollars (around £715,000) and be asked to serve as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation.

Brent, where Zafirakou teaches, is considered an ethnically diverse and disadvantaged area and many of her students come from impoverished homes.

The ceremony was hosted by Trevor Noah and attended by Charlize Theron and priyanka Chopra.

She was handed her trophy by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has been a patron of the prize since its launch.

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Zafirakou teaches in one of the poorest communities in England. "That's how phenomenal they are". "It's often so crowded and noisy I've had students tell me they have to do their homework in the bathroom, just to grab a few moments alone so they can concentrate".

Ms Zafirakou will serve as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation.

With her colleagues she set about redesigning various stands of the school's education from launching a Somali school choir, creating an alternative times tables, and starting a girls-only sports club that would not offend conservative communities.

The award is presented by the Varkey Foundation.

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And the 39-year-old is a worthy victor - she has guided youngsters from one of the poorest areas of the country and helped pupils from a variety of backgrounds. The victor will walk away with $1 million which will be paid in equal instalments over 10 years on one condition she continues teaching for at least five years.

Andria Zafirakou from north London wins $1m 'world's best teacher' prize