Flemish teacher up for Global Teacher Prize for first time


An ICT teacher from Limburg is the first Belgian to be shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize, for his work with a Kenyan refugee camp and projects relating to sustainability

On the shortlist

A teacher from Hasselt has been selected from 20,000 candidates around the world for the Global Teacher Prize shortlist.

Koen Timmers, 37, is one of 50 teachers to be nominated for the award and is the first from Belgium to make it on to the shortlist of the competition, which is being held for the third time.  

Timmers has been an ICT teacher at a centre for adult education in Heusden-Zolder, Limburg, for the past 17 years. The prize jury was charmed by his project in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Via the non-profit Project Kakuma, he found 100 teachers from 30 countries willing to give daily lessons to children in the camp via Skype.

For Flemish pupils, Timmers founded zelfstudie.be, a platform that provides about 60 education programmes. He also contributed to the Waiwater project, which trains students from all over the world to report on the value of water in their environments.

Timmers has previously gained an Microsoft Education Fellowship and obtained the Toshiba DigiStudent Prize for his work.  In a few weeks, he will know if he has made the top 10. The prize, worth $1 million or about €960,000, will be awarded in March, and if he wins, Timmers will donate the money to Project Kakuma.

Photo courtesy Daily Edventures