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Teacher of Afghan refugee girls nominated for $1m global award

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MUMBAI: A woman providing education to Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan has been short-listed for a $1 million global award for teaching.

Aqeela Asifi, 49, who battled the conservative mindset and taught a number of female Afghan refugees and local children has been nominated for the Global Teacher Prize given annually by the Varkey Foundation.

She was a qualified teacher in Afghanistan when education there was free for all but was forced to leave the country when the Taliban took over in 1992.
Aqeela’s school has produced over 1,000 graduates (mainly Afghan refugee girls). Some of them have went on to become doctors, engineers, government officials and teachers in Afghanistan.

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She was presented with the UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award in 2015.
Robin Chaurasiya is the founder of the Kranti School formed for daughters of sex workers from Mumbai’s red-light district of Kamathipura and for the victims of human trafficking, between the ages of 12 and 20.

Its curriculum includes lessons in English, computers, dance therapy, meditation, photography, theatre and travel.

The “krantikaris” or revolutionaries are encouraged to become teachers and community leaders.

The short-list of 10 also includes teachers from the United States, Britain, Finland, Australia, Kenya, Japan and the Palestinian Territories. The winner will be announced in March.

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