Islamabad: Salima Begum, a teacher at the Elementary College Gilgit, is among the 50 finalists chosen for the Global Teacher Prize. Teachers from across the world have participated in this competition. She is from Yasin Valley of District Ghizer.
According to her profile shared on the Prize’s website, Salima was born in a remote village in Pakistan. Conditions in her own education were cramped and she was fortunate to complete higher secondary level. She believes strongly in students ‘constructing’ meaning for themselves through the information they receive, and holds that classroom activities should correspond closely to real-life situations. In particular, she has helped create awareness amongst parents regarding girls’ education and its benefits, and has pioneered a strategy of mentoring in the community and encouraging aspiration in the feeder schools that send pupils to her.
Throughout her career, Salima has contributed to teacher training, instructing more than 7000 teachers across her province, and 8000 more throughout Pakistan through the education reform programme. The United States Agency for International Development has acknowledged her contribution to their Teacher Education project, and she has also published a number of research articles in the area. Her leadership has resulted in her being made Headteacher of her school, and under her guidance students have performed exceptionally well in official examinations, resulting in an increase in enrolment in her school.
If she wins the prize, Salima will use the funds to support needy students (particularly female students) in the region where she lives. Data will be collected on which areas and families are most in need, and funds for books and stationery distributed on that basis.