October 7, 2022

An inspirational Nigerian school has been named in Top 10 shortlists for the new $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes, launched this year by an educational group, T4 Education in partnership with Templeton World Charity Foundation, Accenture and American Express.
In the same vein, Best Intellectuals Model School, in Ohanku, Aba, Abia State, was named in Top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity.
The World’s Best School Prizes celebrate schools for the pivotal role they play in developing next generation of learners and for their contribution to society’s progress, especially in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
Founder of T4 Education and initiator of World’s Best School Prizes, Vikas Pota, said: “With over 1.5 billion learners impacted by school and university closures, COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated a global education crisis. Even before the pandemic, the United Nations had warned that progress was already too slow to achieve universal quality education by 2030.
“We have launched World’s Best School Prizes as a grassroots solution to help build the systemic change needed. By telling stories of inspirational schools that are transforming lives of their students and making a real difference to their communities, schools can share their best practices and have their voices heard at the top table to help transform education.
“I want to congratulate Best Intellectuals Model School for making Top 10 shortlists for the inaugural World’s Best School Prizes. Educators all over the world will now be able to learn from the example of this outstanding Nigerian school.”
Pota disclosed that the Top three finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes, namely for community collaboration, environmental action, innovation, overcoming adversity and supporting healthy lives, would be announced later this year.
He said winners would be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a judging academy, comprising leaders from across the globe.
Pota added that winners would be announced in October 2022 at the World Education Week. According to him, a prize of $250,000 will be equally shared among winners of the five Prizes, with each receiving an award of $50,000.
Besides, he said all 50 shortlisted schools across the five prizes will share their best practices through toolkits that showcase their “secret sauce” to innovative approaches and step-by-step instructions on how others can replicate their methods to help boost education.
Best Intellectuals Model School, situated in Ohanku, Aba, Abia State, made a music video to boost students’ morale in the wake of the pandemic, which went viral in the process.
In 2021, the school faced many crises. With the COVID-19 pandemic, high unemployment rate and increase in crime, the conditions faced by the school forced it to reevaluate how it would continue to operate, keep up the morale of demoralised students and the community. It decided to use the healing power of music.
“The people in the local community were known to love music and more receptive when children were involved. The school hoped that a music video, using its younger students, would reach the hearts and minds of people within the community and address some of society’s ills. But it faced numerous challenges along the way.
“First, students’ safety was a priority. The school staff provided children with facemasks and made sure they observed social distancing. They didn’t have a school bus to get to the nearest studio, so they had to traverse the dirt roads, eventually getting to the studio with soiled clothes. They would have to clean off before recording and shooting the footage for the video. They didn’t have instruments, so they used music from online. In the end, the hardwork paid off and the video was considered a viral hit among the community.”
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