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Thursday, October 6, 2005

Queen Rania Distinguished Teacher Award launched

(Office of Her Majesty, The Jordan Times - Amman) Marking Teachers' Day, His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday launched the Queen Rania Distinguished Teacher Award, seeking to spread the spirit of competitiveness among the Kingdom's educators. 

Joining a workshop of 25 teachers yesterday to discuss the characteristics necessary to excel in the profession and to set a strategy for success in the field, Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania voiced their support for teachers in the Kingdom. 
 
“I am aware of your circumstances and I support you and I constantly follow up with the Ministry of Education on how to overcome the challenges and obstacles you face,” King Abdullah told participants at the workshop. 
 
“It needs more patience, determination and high spirits and we need time to overcome the impediments but we support you,” he continued. 
 
Among the recommendations issued in the workshop were the desired qualities distinguished teachers should possess. These included commitment to professional development, commitment to helping others and the ability to empower students with critical thinking, leadership and creative skills. A teacher, it was suggested, should also have the knowledge and skills to inspire students of varying capabilities. 
 
Workshop participants also discussed the challenges facing teachers, such as overcrowding in classrooms and the lack of the parental participation in children's education. Also included were the negative social perception of teachers and low salaries. 
 
Addressing teachers taking part in the event, Queen Rania told them they had a sacred mission since they affected the thinking of future generations. 
 
“If someone does something out of love it will be the best, therefore, if teachers love their profession they will excel and be creative, overcoming all obstacles,” the Queen said. 
Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khalid Touqan, who also attended the workshop, said the award is important because when teachers excel, it reflects positively on students and will set a role model for teachers to compete further. 
 
The award is in appreciation of teachers and their role in improving themselves and their skills to inspire students to be productive, creative and loyal to their country. 
 
The award, to be conducted on the governorate and Kingdom level, has two categories — distinguished teacher and distinguished school. 
 
Touqan said the committee tasked with setting up the award criteria will take into account the workshop's recommendations and remarks. Brochures, including instructions on the award, will be distributed to the Kingdom's schools as soon as the standards are set. 
 
The annual award will be distributed on Teachers' Day, celebrated on Oct. 5 each year. 
 
“Teachers' Day is the only day when we are appreciated and recognised, but the award will lift our morale and encourage us to excel and compete, and also restore our dignity in this profession,” said Yaser Oshush, remarking on the significance of the award. 
 
Oshush has been teaching social studies in a school in Ghor Al Safi for 13 years. 
 
Buthaynah Sukkar, a history teacher at the Khansa Secondary School, told The Jordan Times she was happy with the award and Their Majesties' visit. She said the award reflects their interest in enhancing the status of teachers. 
 
“The award will increase competition between teachers and motivate me to excel,” said Sukkar.