Sorsogon’s literacy champion vies for Global Teacher Prize

January 31, 2018

PASIG CITY, January 31, 2018 – A teacher from San Jose Elementary School in Donsol, Sorsogon, who was recently conferred with the Dangal ng Bayan (DnB) Award by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for championing literacy in his community, is now one of the top 50 finalists for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.
 
Thirty-two year-old Ryan H. Homan received the DnB Award from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in 2017 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 lone finalist from the Philippines, Homan is slated to fly to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March, along with the best teachers from 49 other countries for the announcement of the Global Teacher Prize winner who will receive USD 1 million as prize.
 
Established and organized by the Varkey Foundation – a not-for-profit organization working for the betterment of education standards, especially for underprivileged children throughout the world – the said prize searches for and recognizes the exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding impact and contribution to the profession.
 
To be awarded under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai, the prize is further aimed at highlighting 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 is known in his community as a champion of literacy who initiated various reading programs to help learners in San Jose Elementary School who are at risk of dropping out. Through his Balsa-Basa project, along with the home reading corners and community reading centers that he helped establish, the school’s academic achievement showed continuous improvement.
 
He also tapped his learners’ parents and capacitated them to become nanay-teachers – mothers who are capable of teaching and mentoring their own children, especially in developing critical thinking and reading comprehension.
 
Sponsors who took notice of his efforts to alleviate the plight of his townsfolk offered aid and assistance to schoolchildren, including the construction of a hanging bridge which allows them to cross the river when going to school.
 
“I will usher education to them.  If they can’t go to school, I will bring the school to them,” Homan shared.
 
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones lauds Homan’s unwavering commitment and dedication to education: “This is a teacher who considers teaching not just as a profession, but a lifelong mission and a vocation. He is worth admiring and emulating, whether or not he wins the Global Teacher Prize.”
 
Multi-awarded
In addition to his DnB award as one of the outstanding public officials and employees in the country in 2017, he was also a national awardee for the youth category of the 2016 Search for Outstanding Volunteers by the National Economic and Development Authority and Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Authority.
 
Further, he was a national awardee for “The Many Faces of the Teachers,” a search for outstanding teachers spearheaded by the Bato Balani Foundation, Inc. Finally, he was recognized as an outstanding employee by the Civil Service Commission Regional Office V.
 
Should he win the prize, Homan is intent to award scholarships to learners who are willing to continue their college education in their village. He will also take special technical course through a scholarship he obtained so that he will be able to teach enterprise and livelihood skills to the youth.
 
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