Sorsogon’s literacy champion a finalist for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize
San Jose Elementary School teacher Ryan Homan, whose dream was to make every child a reader, has been named one of the top 50 finalists for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.
In a press release, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Homan, the lone finalist from the Philippines, would fly to Dubai, in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March.
The Global Teacher Prize winner would receive $1 million in cash prize. The award would be given by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.
The prize aims to highlight “the crucial role of educators in bringing about positive changes in the lives of learners and their communities from around the world.”
‘Champion of education’
Homan was known for his advocacy work, the “Balsa-Basa” project, where he uses rafts as floating libraries and uses motorized boats to reach out to children in neighboring villages.
The teacher also takes his pushcart library around the village after school. He has also trained mothers to help teachers and older siblings to teach their younger brothers and sisters.
Through Homan’s efforts, sponsors were able to recognize the townsfolk’s plight, which led them to offer aid including the construction of a hanging bridge which allows students to cross the river when going to school, the DepEd said.
“I will usher education to them. If they can’t go to school, I will bring the school to them,” Homan said in the DepEd’s news release.
Should he win the prize, the DepEd said Homan would grant scholarships to students willing to continue their college education in their village.
Homan would also take a special technical course through a scholarship he would obtain so he could teach enterprise and livelihood skills to the youth, the department said.
For his advocacy, Homan had been recognized not only by government agencies but also by a non-profit organization.
Homan was conferred with the Dangal ng Bayan (DnB) Award by President Rodrigo Duterte through the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for championing literacy in his community in 2017.
“(The award was in) recognition of his efforts and self-initiated interventions which led to the significant improvement of the reading competencies of the learners from his locality,” the DepEd said.
Homan was also a national awardee for the youth category of the 2016 Search for Outstanding Volunteers by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Authority.
He was also an awardee for “The Many Faces of the Teachers,” a search for outstanding teachers spearheaded by the Bato Balani Foundation, Inc.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.