“Outstanding teacher” nominated to be a Community Champion

An “outstanding teacher who is highly inspirational” has been nominated to be a Community Champion.

Tosowar Ali has taught Bengali at Bethnal Green Academy for 25 years, and has also established a community language school in Southwark.

The Community Champions scheme is being run by the Advertiser and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the body in charge of the Olympic Park after the London 2012 Games, when it will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Fifty Community Champions will be named across the six host boroughs and each will get two tickets to the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games and an invitation to meet a Paralympian.

Tosowar, 56, was nominated by Elizabeth Manrique, director of learning languages at the academy, who called him an “outstanding teacher”.


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She continued: “Students fall over themselves to impress Mr Ali, to contribute, to participate and to develop their language skills.

“Walking into his room is like walking in to an oasis of tranquillity, where every student is engaged and involved and where all can enthusiastically articulate what they are learning.

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“That is not to say Mr Ali’s lessons are easy. Students’ learning is driven forwards through consistently high expectations, rigour and specialist knowledge, balanced perfectly with warmth, care and encouragement.”

Barking resident Tosowar said he believed speaking more than one language was important for young people.

He said: “Children are learning English in school but to know their community heritage they need to learn Bengali as well.

“It’s important because if children want to do a good job they need to be bilingual.”

In her nomination Elizabeth said: “Students feel a deep respect for a teacher who has equipped them with the linguistic and cultural tools necessary for success, and who, most importantly, has shown them an unwavering belief in their ability to learn and achieve.

“It is not only the students; every member of staff at the academy has a flurry of positive comments to make: Mr Ali is a teacher who holds the school community together – who is part of its DNA– and whose links with the community and 25 years of service would make him a phenomenal Community Champion.”

Tosowar said: “It’s fantastic to be nominated.”

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