HomeEducationEdu-NewsNigerians Adeniyi, Adefemi make Top 50 in $1m Global Teacher Prize

Nigerians Adeniyi, Adefemi make Top 50 in $1m Global Teacher Prize

* 3 Nigerians also in Top 50 for the Global Student Prize

Two Nigerian teachers, Olusegun Adeniyi and Adeola Adefemi have made the top 50 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation $1 million Global Teacher Prize 2021.

Adeniyi teaches art at Caleb British International School, Lagos, while Adeola Adefemi, teaches English language at Oke-Odo Senior High School, Alimoso, also in Lagos.

Meanwhile, Oluwadamilola Akintewe, a 22-year-old student at Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo, Nigeria; Blessing Akpan, a 23-year-old student at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigera; and Esther Ajari, a 22-year-old student at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo, Nigeria, have been included in the top 50 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation new sister award, the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2021.

Adeniyi and Adefemi were selected from over 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world.

Akintewe, Akpan and Ajari, shortlisted for the Global Student Prize 2021, were selected from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world.

Now in its seventh year, the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize, done in collaboration with UNESCO, is the largest prize of its kind.

The Global Student Prize, which is in its inaugural year, will see the winning student receive $100,000.

The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world.

The Varkey Foundation launched the Chegg.org Global Student Prize earlier this year to create a powerful new platform to highlight the efforts of extraordinary students throughout the world that are making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills programme.

Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.

Together, the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize will tell inspirational stories from both sides of education. The prizes will shine a spotlight on the great work teachers do in preparing young people for the future and the amazing promise the brightest students are showing in their learning and far beyond.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:

“Congratulations to Olusegun, Adeola, Oluwadamilola, Blessing and Esther for reaching the final 50.

“Their stories clearly highlight the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics.

“It is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

Applications and nominations for this year’s teacher and student prizes opened on Tuesday 2 February and closed on Sunday 16 May.

Teachers who applied for the Global Teacher Prize are being assessed on teaching practices, how they innovate to address local challenges, achieve demonstrable learning outcomes, impact the community beyond the classroom, help children become global citizens, improve the teaching profession and gain recognition from external bodies.

The US$1m award was won last year by Indian village teacher Ranjitsinh Disale.

Students who applied for the Global Student Prize are being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.

Following today’s announcement, the top 10 finalists of both the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize will be announced in October this year.

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The winners of both prizes will be chosen from the respective top 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy and the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.

The winners are due to be announced at an awards ceremony in Paris in November.

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