Former Miss India Swaroop Rawal née Sampat has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize 2019. On Thursday, the Uri actor was named among the top 10 teachers finalised for the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for their contribution and unique teaching methods.

Rawal, who teaches at Lavad Primary School in Gujarat’s Surat, was shortlisted from around 10,000 nominations and applications across 179 countries for the annual prize, which will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai next month.

In an interview to PTI, Swaroop Rawal talked about getting nominated for the hounour.

“This solidifies that some very special people are noticing and celebrating the work done by teachers,” she said.

“Given the scale of the education challenge world over, I strongly believe every effort made in education should be celebrated and thus I congratulate my fellow teachers; those have made to the list and also those who haven’t,” Rawal added.

According to Rawal’s profile on the Global Teacher Award website, her teaching has reached children on the streets, in rural communities, economically and socially disadvantaged children, as well as elite schoolchildren.

“In order to reach out to them, Rawal uses drama in education an active, learner-centred method which includes group discussion, brainstorming, debate, games, song, and drawing,” says the website, adding her approach has had “important concrete effects in the lives of those she has taught”. Citing examples, the profile notes: “After teaching in Bhadbhediya, peer-mentors subsequently discussed the issue of child marriage with the village committee and put measures in place preventing it. And in Sodvadra, pupils have helped put a stop to child labour in the diamond polishing industry and facilitated children’s return to school.”

Rawal has also contributed to the understanding of teaching in India, becoming a teacher-trainer and training over 10,000 teachers.

“Teaching is my refusal to remain silent. Education is my way to make better the lives of the children. I perfect my practice so I can improve their schooling. I imagine new ways of teaching so I can teach them well to enable them to learn well….innovative and improved technique …effective curriculums …valuable research for a safer, beautiful world…It is about the children, always about the children,” she says.

Swaroop Rawal, who was born on November 03, 1958, studied PhD in Education from the University of Worcester. She won the title of Miss India in 1979 and made her debut in Hindi film industry after three years. The actress got married to Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal in 1987.

-With agency inputs