Iloilo’s culture advocate named Global Teacher Prize finalist

March 9, 2018

PASIG CITY, March 9, 2018 – From over 30,000 teacher-nominees from more than 170 countries, a public school teacher from the town of Calinog, Iloilo, was selected as one of the top 10 finalists for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize of Varkey Foundation. 
Dr. Jesus Insilada, currently the principal of Caninguan National High School, made the country proud as philanthropist Bill Gates made the official announcement on February 14 through the Foundation’s YouTube channel.
A teacher and member of the Panay-Bukidnon Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) community, Dr. Insilada uses culture-based teaching and inclusive learning in transforming the lives of his students. He is also an advocate of IP’s rights and welfare, and strives to contribute to making education culture-sensitive. Now, at least 87 percent of his pupils have shown improvements in their grades as they learn through traditional dances, songs, local games and crafts.
The Global Teacher Prize searches for and recognizes the exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding impact and contribution to the profession.
Dr. Insilada is now dubbed as one of the 10 best teachers in the world together with the finalists from Turkey, South Africa, Colombia, United States, Brazil, Belgium, Australia, United Kingdom, and Norway, who all brought about positive changes in the lives of learners and their communities.
“’Di ako makapaniwala, deep inside, I was hoping na makasali sa Top 10. Masaya…I feel flattered of the opportunity to share my story para maging inspirasyon sa iba,” Dr. Insilada shared.
The news of his achievement was announced to the school during their Recognition Program, “They were shocked that it was Bill Gates who made the announcement. Sabi ko sa kanila, mag-focus kayo sa studies ninyo at sa mga guro, pag-igihan pa ang pagtuturo.”
The Philippines’ culture advocate will attend the awarding ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March during the Global Education Skills Forum.
Should he win the coveted USD 1 million prize, he will build a museum that will showcase the Panay Bukidnon culture, as well as support local performances and train teachers.
Dr. Insilada has won the Carlos Palanca award multiple times for his Hiligaynon short stories. He received the 2017 Princess Maha Chakri Award, and was one of the 2014 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teachers. He was also a national awardee for “The Many Faces of the Teacher” of the Bato Balani Foundation, Inc. in 2013.  
Meanwhile, Ryan Hobitan Homan, a literacy champion of San Jose Elementary School in Donsol, Sorsogon, also made it into the top 50 of the global search.
“We are truly proud of our teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Our Global Teacher Prize finalists have proven that Filipino teachers do not only impart knowledge to their learners, they also advocate great causes such as the promotion and preservation of culture – the very soul of our nation,” Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.