Webster Uzbekistan Faculty, Staff Jury for Global Teacher Prize 2020

Several faculty and staff working at Webster University in Tashkent participated in the selection in the contest Global Teacher Prize in Uzbekistan, titled “Ustoz-2020.” Nilufar Tillayeva, Rokhatoy Boltaeva, Anvar Nizamov, Dilfuza Kurolova, and Nargiza Alikulova acted as selection panel members during different rounds. The selection process took place over three stages from October to December 2020. There were six categories, including those for innovative teaching, for teachers of learners with disabilities, and young educators.

Rokhatoy Boltaeva, TESL faculty at Webster Tashkent, was one of 10 panel members who assessed 2,000 essays submitted by teachers. Boltaeva explained that one of the important criteria was a student-focused approach. Panel members sought out applicants who would write about their students’ growth, activities in planning lessons and organizing co-curriculars. As a result, from the 2,000 essays, only 20 percent of the teachers passed to the next stage.

During the second round, participants were interviewed by a different panel, consisting of instructors and professors from Uzbekistan’s leading universities. One of them was Anvar Nizamov, Business faculty at Webster in Tashkent. Together, they developed criteria to evaluate participating educators. The panel conducted a total of about 150 interviews over the course of one week. Having spoken with many teachers during that time, Nizamov says that he was “impressed by the dedication, professionalism of the teachers, their love and passion for teaching. What I especially liked there were a lot of young bright teachers with their own view of teaching.”

One of the big differences between Global Teacher Prize Uzbekistan and previous contests among pedagogues in the country was selection transparency and the chance for teachers of all subjects to participate. “The contest was organized brilliantly and transparently [which] played a profound role, said Boltaeva. "The nominations were based on the teacher's general knowledge, skills, dedication, and achievements in the field, rather than on a variety of subjects.” Nizamov supports his colleague’s opinion: “Different panel members were selected for each stage and ensured fair and transparent selection. All teachers of Uzbekistan had an opportunity to participate in the contest within the nominations of their choice.”

The Global Teacher Prize is organized by the Varkey Foundation all around the world. This was the first time the contest was held in Uzbekistan. “It will further improve the status of the teacher in the society, increase teachers' motivation and love of their profession, create opportunity for their future professional development,” said Nizamov.

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