Webster Community Members Contributing to National Teacher Prize Uzbekistan 2021

Seven Webster Tashkent staff, faculty, and alumni are acting as experts and judges in the National Teacher Prize Uzbekistan 2021, known nationally as "Ustoz-2021."

This year, National Teacher Prize Uzbekistan attracted 29,850 submissions from educators all around the republic. Over 4300 of these submissions were chosen for review by judges in the first round. Educators who passed the initial selection process were then asked to each submit a video and written essay.

During the first round, two of the ten-person panel of judges were Webster community members: Rokhatoy Boltaeva, program coordinator and faculty in the Master of Arts in education and innovation, and Nilufar Tillayeva, an instructor in the Master of Arts in teaching English as a second language. The panel had only three weeks to review 4301 submissions that went on to the second stage.

Boltaeva shared that one of the tough parts of the job was to judge strictly. She reported that some applications did not meet the requirements in the video component. “[This] was so sad, because they failed the first stage even though their essays were perfectly composed,” she commented.

Each of the three stages have a different panel of judges, creating transparency and increasing public trust in the selection processes.

Boltaeva and Tillayeva were also among the experts who worked on designing the criteria and rubrics by which contestants were judged. Tillayeva said, “We with the other experts created the criteria. And we kept the consistency between those criteria with the detailed rubrics to assess.”

Boltaeva shared her perspective as a second-time expert and judge: “This year I could witness many improvements in terms of refining the stages, redesigning the web-platform, choosing the right judges from the experts and constant feedback from the [organizers].”

Encouraging Innovative, Creative and Enterprising Teachers

There are 8 nominations in National Teacher Prize Uzbekistan 2021, including categories for teachers with more than 20 years of experience, teachers working with children with disabilities, promising young educators, and others.

According to Boltaeva, National Teacher Prize Uzbekistan “is aimed at encouraging innovative, creative, and enterprising teachers in the public education system, revealing their creative potential, giving them the opportunity to feel part of the global teaching community, as well as effective use of innovative technologies in education. The aim is to encourage successful teachers and increase the prestige of the teaching profession in society.”

The contest is organized by the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan and the Teachers’ Association. Additionally, according to the contest website, this year one of the aims was to discover teachers who will represent Uzbekistan in the Global Teacher Prize, an international contest organized by the Varkey Foundation.

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