Millicent Cassianes, a BL Tezza Complex Primary School teacher from Kenya, has been nominated for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2023.
Millicent was shortlisted from over 7,000 nominations and submissions from over 130 countries to receive the $1 million USD prize.
The Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize is co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Dubai Cares, a global philanthropic organization headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The Global Teacher Prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognized and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impact of the very best teachers not only on their students but on the communities around them.” Stated the Varkey Foundation website.
Millicent has worked with special needs children since she was hired by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
After meeting pupils with severe hearing loss and infections at an orphanage, she chose to pursue hospital training in how to care for students with unique needs.
Millicent then enrolled in Kenyan Sign Language classes and founded the BL Tezza Special School for the Deaf.
Her attempts to expand the school saw her acquire donations from several organizations, including the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya, as well as a bank loan to enable the school’s development.
The school now serves around 120 hearing-impaired students, with guidance based on the competency-based curriculum.