Dubai: Thirteen UAE educators with a flair for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, popularly known as STEM, were celebrated during the first-ever STEM Teachers Award for High School Teachers in the UAE, held by Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Dubai Campus (BPDC) on Sunday.
Held in association with Science India Forum (SIF), UAE Chapter, the teachers were honoured with awards in eight categories at the award ceremony held on the BPDC campus.
The awards, which recognised the work of teachers, are in line with the UAE Government’s Vision and the Ministry of Education’s National Strategy for Higher Education 2030, which focuses on creating a forward-looking education system for a skilled future generation.
The event began with an invocation and welcome note, followed by an address by the Director of BPDC Professor Srinivasan Madapusi.
He said: “Teachers matter. They sacrifice a lot for the sake of their profession, and their hard work must be recognised through awards such as these. The STEM educators we celebrate today are true innovators who have through their dynamic teaching practices led the way in promoting student learning in the community. To all the winners, thank you for your dedication and congratulations!”
SIF UAE President Dr Satish Krishnan added: “I’m extremely proud to be a part of this prestigious award that BITS Pilani Dubai Campus is giving to STEM teachers. The importance of STEM cannot be stressed enough; it is the language of the digital age; and educators who are at the forefront of the trend must be recognised and appreciated. To BITS Pilani Dubai Campus and all the leading teachers, congratulations.”
This was followed by the felicitation of the judges - Dr. S. Gurumadhva Rao- former vice chancellor and senior advisor, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University; Dr. R. Roop Kumar- professor, BPDC; Dr. Maneesha - associate professor, BPDC; and Dr. Alavikunhu Panthakkan- assistant professor, University of Dubai.
The awards were presented by category and interspersed with vibrant student performances.
Udaya Prakash Balakrishna, from GEMS Our Own High School (OOW) in Dubai, and Surya Vignesh, from Global Indian International School in Abu Dhabi, shared the coveted STEM Teacher of the Year Award.
Nisha Ramesh from GEMS Our Own English High School (OOB), Sharjah- Boys, won the Best Teacher Award for Excellence in Instructional Leadership. Hemaben Atul Shah, from GEMS OOEHS, Sharjah- Girls (OOS), took home the title of the Best Teacher Award for Academic Excellence. The Best Teacher Award for Innovation in Pedagogy went to Siju Philip from Global Indian International School, Dubai.
The Best Teacher Award for Outstanding Digital Transformation was bagged by Aarti Chopra of GEMS The Winchester School in Dubai (WIN) and Shaki Ali from GEMS Cambridge High School in Abu Dhabi (CIA). The Best Teacher Award for Initiating Diversity Inclusion and Well- being went to Radhika Misra, of GEMS OOEHS, Sharjah-Boys (OOB), and Dileep Krishnan Poruppath from the Emirates School of Establishments-Um Kulthoom School of Al-Ain.
Meanwhile, the Best Teacher Award for Community Engagement was shared by Leena Maniyath, from Sunrise English Private School, and Sini Haridasan from GEMS OOW.
Teachers from two schools shared the prize for Best Teacher Award for Outstanding Projects: Mahaalakshmi Ravindran, Delhi Private School, Dubai, and Arsha Bhooshan, from GEMS Our Own Indian School (OIS).
Nominations for the awards that recognised educators in eight categories - Excellence in Instructional Leadership, Academic Excellence, Innovation in Pedagogy, Outstanding Digital Transformation, Best Teacher Award for initiating Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing, for Community Engagement, for Outstanding Projects and STEM Teacher of the Year Award – were made by the candidates themselves or their school, students, colleagues and family members.
After the ceremony, a gala dinner was held, which was attended by teachers, students and various dignitaries, the organisers said.