The Mariamma Varkey Award

For Inspirational and Outstanding Teaching at GEMS

Named after the mother of GEMS Education’s Founder and Chairman, the annual Mariamma Varkey Award for Inspirational and Outstanding Teaching at GEMS seeks to raise the status of the teaching profession and celebrates and rewards the best teachers working in GEMS schools. The award is also held in recognition of the drive and passion of Mariamma Varkey, who herself worked as a teacher.


Every year, the award recognises the GEMS teachers who are deemed to be the most inspirational and outstanding practitioners both overall and at each stage of schooling. These teachers motivate and stimulate their students to question, inquire, create, problem solve and aspire to be the very best. They also inspire their colleagues to learn and improve as reflective practitioners.

Teachers are nominated based on specific criteria and must demonstrate remarkable impact upon their students and the wider community, while also employing pioneering, creative, inclusive and innovative pedagogical practices that engage and challenge students in their learning.

Categories and prizes are as follows:



Most Inspirational Teacher USD 60,000
Early & Primary Years USD 24,000
Inclusion USD 24,000
Secondary Years USD 24,000
Arabic & Islamic USD 24,000