Five teachers from Africa have made the top 50 shortlisted nominations for the second annual Global Teacher Prize 2016, the Varkey Foundation announced in a statement on Thursday.

Global Teacher Prize

Referred to as the Nobel Prize for teaching, the Global Teacher Prize is an annual $1 million award that will be given to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

Entries for the award have been whittled down to a final 50 from 8,000 nominations and applications from 148 countries.

In total, the long list contains candidates from 29 nations.

The five teachers among the global top 50 include Colleen Henning and Warren Sparrow from South Africa, Miriam Mason-Sesay from Sierra Leone and Ayub Mohamud from Eastleigh High School and Michael Walter Kagwa from IFO 2 Refugee Camp in Kenya.

From this list of 50 shortlisted teachers, a prize committee will announce the final 10 teachers in February 2016 with the winner being announced in March at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

According to the communiqué, the Global Teacher Prize is part of the Varkey Foundation’s long-standing commitment to improve the status of teachers.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said: “We were overwhelmed by the huge support the Global Teacher Prize received in its first year. We intend to keep this momentum going as our journey continues to return teachers to their rightful position as one of the most respected professions in society.”