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Recognising the valuable contributions made by them in shaping the minds of the future citizens of the world, 10 teachers from different Indian schools across Muscat were honoured at the Best Teacher Awards event held at the Indian School Ghubra on Thursday.

The awards were given in five categories, namely kindergarten, primary, secondary, senior secondary and co-curricular activities.

The award winning teachers are Saeeda Khan (Indian School Muladha) and Geetha Sharma (Indian School Seeb) in the kindergarten category, Priya Murali (Indian School Muscat) and Geetha Saravanan (Indian School Nizwa) in the primary section, M. V. S. R. Somayajulu (Indian School Muscat) and Z. A. Kazi (Indian School Mabelah) in the secondary section, K. C. Naithani (Indian School Muscat) and Daisy Roy (Indian School Seeb) in the senior secondary and Kamal P. Gurung (Indian School Sohar) and N. J. Acharya (Indian School Muscat) in the co-curricular activities section.

There were 61 nominations this year from 19 schools across Oman. The special part of the awards is that the winners are nominated by their colleagues. The awards, which started off as a private initiative to recognise the role of the teaching community in Oman, are now being taken forward by Indian schools' Board of Directors.

Sheikh Kanaksi Khimji, director, Khimji Ramdas was the guest of honour at the event. Kiran Asher, group managing director, Al Ansari Trading Enterprise and vice-chairman, Indian school's board of directors, was also present.

Speaking at the event, J. S. Mukul, Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman, said, "We gratefully acknowledge and laud the efforts of the Indian community in Oman in putting up an excellent education system which caters to the needs of the Diaspora children for quality education. Because of the community's efforts, we today have 19 schools affiliated to the CBSE system functioning across Oman boasting over 40,000 students and more than 1,400 teachers."

The ambassador called upon the teachers to "cope with the information overload, use technology to facilitate and construct a 'teaching-learning' process suited and adapted to the needs of the day". Mukul asked teachers to prepare children to take on leadership roles, keep up with intellectual demands and challenges of the modern times.

In her keynote address, Prof Thuwayba bint Ahmed Issa Barwani, Dean, College of Education, Sultan Qaboos University, urged "educators" to reach out to every child under their care. She said, "Educators should be committed to the development and learning of every child under their care."

Prof Thuwayba called on the teachers to be flexible and adaptable while encouraging critical and creative thinking.

Tonny George Alexander, chairman, board of directors of the Indian schools, said, "Winners were chosen, after long deliberations and interaction with the nominees, by an expert panel of senior educationists. Though there can be only one winner, all nominees are winners due to the fact that they were nominated. Those who received the awards have every reason to be proud of. However, the winners should not rest on their laurels, but continue to strive for excellence all the time. You also need to continue providing your unstinted support to the system of education."