GEMS Education Students Set Guinness World Records Title to Recognise the $1 Million Global Teacher Prize

Press release
Published April 2nd, 2018 - 08:13 GMT
Together, the students announced the name of the winner of this year’s prize: Andria Zafirakou.
Together, the students announced the name of the winner of this year’s prize: Andria Zafirakou.

Close to 2,000 students across GEMS Education schools in the UAE gathered to form the ‘Largest Human Image of a Hashtag symbol’ – setting another Guinness World Records title – to celebrate the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize 2018.

The 1,927 students who created the human hashtag were accompanied by close to 3000 students who formed the letters ‘GTP’ which stand for ‘Global Teacher Prize’.

Now in its fourth year, the US$1 million award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

Together, the students announced the name of the winner of this year’s prize – Andria Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher from Alperton Community School in London, UK – at a glittering ceremony following the Global Education and Skills Forum, held in Dubai.

This is the fifth world record attempted by students of GEMS Education and the fourth record that they have created.

Paying a tribute to the UAE on National Day, in 2017, GEMS students created the ‘World's Largest Human Waving National Flag’ and in 2016, created the ‘World’s Largest Transforming Human Image’. In 2015, students created a record for the world’s largest human sentence and in 2014, students of 119 nationalities from GEMS Education sang the UAE national anthem at one time.

Background Information

GEMS Education

In 1959, two teachers, KS Varkey and his wife Mariamma, arrived in Dubai. 

At the time, Dubai was a burgeoning trade centre on the Arabian Gulf. The Varkey family had left Kerala, India to seek a better life for their family. What they found was a real need to educate children arriving in the city from around the world.

Their son, Sunny, added a visionary’s ambition to a practitioner's experience. From simple roots in a family of teachers, GEMS Education, is today an international company with schools and education services across the Middle East. We still share the same mission - to provide a quality education to everyone.

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