SPAIN'S nominee for the 'Nobel in education' has not won the €1 million first prize, but has made it into the top 10 out of over 20,000 candidates from 79 countries.
David Calle has been running an online 'video academy' on YouTube, where he gives over 700 lessons in IT, maths, physics and chemistry for all ages ranging from first year of high school to university undergraduate level.
Many of his regular users say they would not have got through their sixth-form exams without him, and that his explanations are so clear and well-illustrated that 'almost anyone' would understand them enough to succeed in the subjects featured.
His YouTube academy, UNICOOS, has been running for six years, ever since Calle realised he was unable to help those students he really needed it via his 'physical' remedial studies centre – those who could not afford to join.
It has also proven to be an excellent out-of-hours resource for those who are, indeed, able to attend his classes.
The Global Teacher Prize is awarded every year and considered to be the 'Nobel' in education – and this year, David Calle was the only candidate from Spain, up against nominees from 78 other countries including the UK, Australia, Germany, Kenya, Canada, China, Jamaica, Pakistan and Brazil.
In the end, the winner – who received her award in person from the Sheikh of the host city of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum – was Canada's Maggie MacDonnell.
She teaches eskimos in the Canadia Arctic, a community with a huge suicide rate and very high turnover of school teachers.
In just two years, Maggie says she has witnessed 10 suicides among the Inuit population she works with.
She has managed to provide an 'all-round' education including teaching pupils about healthy lifestyles and becoming involved in the local community.
Canadian president Justin Trudeau sent her a personalised video message to congratulate her on her prize and on her having achieved 'extraaordinary things in exceptional circumstances'.
“You've shown great heart, willingness and imagination. Thanks, Maggie,” Trudeau said.
David Calle had been crossing his fingers until last night (Sunday) to find out if he would win the award, but although he did not succeed in coming first, his managing to get into the top 10 out of 20,000 teachers in the world is a massive honour and one of which he is justly proud.