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Queen Rania presents award to excelling teachers, counsellors

By Mohammad Ghazal - Dec 02,2014 - Last updated at Dec 02,2014

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania on Tuesday honoured the winners of the 9th Teacher Award and the 1st School Counsellor Award cycles.

Queen Rania presented awards to 24 winners, including 19 teachers and five counsellors, during a ceremony held by the Association of Queen Rania Al Abdullah Award for Excellence in Education (QRAEE) and attended more than 2,000 people including HH Princess Zeina Al Feisal, senior officials, QRAEE representatives, private and public sector sponsors, university presidents, media personalities and former winners.

At the event, QRAEE Director Lubna Touqan said the association launched the Distinguished School Counsellor Award based on its strong belief in the important role counsellors play in developing students' personalities and improving their achievements.

Touqan added that the award’s nomination criterion for this year was “sustainable professional self-development”, noting that the association adopts this criterion to develop its own work and the work of other relevant parties. 

Launched in 2005 by Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania in partnership with the Education Ministry, the award seeks to set a national standard of excellence in teaching and to celebrate, encourage and honour those who reach it.

During the ceremony, Education Minister Mohammad Thneibat said the ministry is in the process of developing a framework that promotes a culture of progress and excellence among teachers, school counsellors and principals in order to reach sustainable professional development. 

He added that the ministry will promote the winners’ success stories so as to set an example of excellence for their peers. 

The minister also referred to the findings of a recent study conducted by the ministry and explained that schools which include teachers who won this award have witnessed a significant increase in students’ pass rates as opposed to their counterparts.  

Over the past few years, the Queen, who is chairperson of the QRAEE board of trustees, had come across various success stories of educators who had made children’s education the core goal of their lives, and several recent success stories were presented before Her Majesty during Tuesday’s ceremony.

Winners of this year's award expressed their joy and appreciation.

Mohammad Shraideh from Maan Governorate, who won first place in the teacher award's third category, said the recognition will encourage him to further innovate in the classroom.

"My message to all teachers is that nothing is impossible even with limited resources," noted Shraideh, who uses technology in his art classes. 

"I encourage all educators to apply for the award," he told The Jordan Times following the ceremony.

On the sidelines of the event, sponsored by Zain for the third consecutive year, and in line with QRAEE’s mission to spread a culture of excellence in education, the association held an exhibition showcasing teachers’ best educational practices in order to inspire and benefit as many educators as possible, according to a statement released by Her Majesty's office.  

Winners received monetary awards of JD3,000 for 1st place, JD2,000 for 2nd place, and JD1,000 for 3rd place. 

In addition, all finalists received excellence certificates as well as a cash award of JD300 Each, the statement said.

Excellence certificates enable teachers to advance their careers by attending different events and workshops held by QRAEE, as well as enhancing their chances of receiving scholarships.

Hanan Bairouti, who won second place in the award's second category, believes that "winning should not be the only objective" of teachers when they apply for the award. 

"They should strive to excel even after winning the award," the Arabic language teacher, who initiated a short story-writing contest for schoolchildren, told The Jordan Times after the ceremony. 

"By taking part in the award, teachers can know their points of strength and weakness, and work on them and do better in the classroom." 

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