Nurten Akkus inspiring pre-school Teachers

Nurten Akkuş, a Turkish preschool teacher, has become one of the 10 finalists in the 2018 Global Teacher Prize, often dubbed the Nobel Prize for teaching.

Nurten Akkus

Nurten founded the first kindergarten in her community. Having launched many projects across Turkey to promote education in small, rural schools as well as improving parent-child relationships, Akkuş was selected as one of the top 10 teachers of the world.

Global Teacher Prize 2018

Akkuş is one of 10 finalists selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.

Excited as she is in the selective teacher's list from the world. Akkuş, who has worked as principal of the Ayvacik Kindergarten in the northern province of Samsun for several years. She said, "I've signed many projects on a national basis and received awards. It is a great pleasure for me to carry this on to the international scale and to make the Turkish name and the power of Turkish teaching known on an international platform. I am very proud of it," Akkuş told Anadolu Agency.


Pre-school Projects

Akkuş has pioneered projects that have been adopted around the world She has initiated several projects and her projects have deep meaning for the Turkish children. Akkuş' "Daddy, tell me a story" project, which has been implemented in 45 different provinces, has provided education for hundreds of fathers on building strong relationships with their children. This movement was needed to build up a bridge between the child and the father.

Then her "Piggy Bank for Toys" project is also being implemented across 43 provinces to provide children with toys in small village schools. This project mobilizes volunteers to gather toys for distribution to young children in disadvantaged regions, a pre-school sports service, and Turkey’s first “multi-intelligence game hall” where different groups of children are combined to share interests and abilities.


Nurten’s vision of education is not only academic but it makes a balance between books and toys for the children living in the regions where studies need to be nurtured from the roots.


Considering the high amount of patience and dedication selection committee “Finalists were selected based on a rigorous set of criteria, including their proven effectiveness in inspiring students and helping them learn. Just as important, these teachers are leaders who have innovated in the classroom and mentored their colleagues,” Gates said in a video message published on the foundation’s website on Feb. 13. 


The winner, who will be paid the prize money $1 million in equal installments over 10 years, will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 18.


The other finalists include teachers from Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S.


Read More, incredible stories of teachers at BEYOND TEACHING.