India’s Top Teacher UAE
Dubai: A Dubai school principal has been chosen for India’s highest award for teachers to be presented by the Indian President on September 5.
Thomas Mathew, the executive principal at GEMS Our Own English School (Girls), has won the National Teacher Award 2015 instituted by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development.
He was nominated by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which has a quota of 20 out of the 378 awards annually given to raise the prestige of teachers and give public recognition to the meritorious services of outstanding teachers.
The award carries a medal, certificate, and a cash prize of Rs50,000. Mathew will receive the award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Teachers’ Day, which marks the birth anniversary of the country’s first vice-president, second president and eminent educationist Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Mathew had bagged the CBSE Teacher Award in 2008 when he was the principal of Our Own High School Sharjah (Boys). He is also a recipient of Asian Education Leadership Award 2015 for outstanding contribution to education.
His former colleague in Dubai, Dr Subhash Bhaskaran Nair, who is now the principal of Shantiniketan Indian School in Doha, Qatar, is the only other recipient of the national award from the Gulf region this year. Currently, Mathew is into his third year as the executive principal of the flagship school of the GEMS group that has a strength of over 10,000 girls.
“It’s always special when you get the national award. Every time you get an award, you rededicate yourself to work with children. It is a motivating factor and it prompts you to work even harder. I thank God, the entire GEMS family, especially founder Sunny Varkey for the trust he has put in me, and then my wife for supporting and allowing me to work for long hours,” Mathew told Gulf News yesterday.
He said he reaches the school by 6.30am and leaves by 4-4.30pm only. “If you are early in the school, you can plan your day better. That is also an ideal time to meet parents who find work pressure after 8 o’clock.”
Talking about the profession of teaching, he said: “We must not choose teaching career by chance … it should be by choice and should not be the last choice. And the most important thing for teachers is to create a bond with children for life and show your genuine passion in teaching and loving them.”
As his message to students, he urged them to follow their passion and think. “When there is thinking, learning takes place. They must learn to conceive ideas and believe in them. Then they will achieve. Today we have children who are so smart and intelligent. The only thing that teachers should do is help them tackle life.”
A couple of lessons that he has learnt in his 33 years of service are that the students who show a lot of love and affection later on are the ones who were naughty in schools and the best feedback that he has received from students has always been from informal interactions held out of classrooms.
Mathew of GEMS Our Own English School to receive National Teacher Award 2015 on Teachers Day